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Old 09-07-2012, 12:06   #1
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Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

We have been in the Bocas area for almost 2 months and this is the first crime we have been heard about. Two days ago a boat anchored off the N end of town was boarded late a night. The couple on board heard the intruders and managed to chase them off, losing one gas can to the intruders.
Much more seriously another boat in the S anchorage was boarded around 1am by 2 men who paddled out to their boat. The intruders had a gun, tied the couple up, and spent 2 hours or more ransacking the boat and drinking beer. They drilled holes in the floors, ripped open leather cushions, spilled foods and drinks every where, ripped out electonics, threw all their clothes on the floor, searching for money. The inside of the boat was a disaster. More menacing the intruders hit the women in the face with the pistol and eventually raped her 3 times before leaving with their dinghy. The rest of the cruisers are in shock at the pointless violence these men used. A reward has been offered by one of the cruisers and a local marina has offered them a free slip for 2 weeks. The police took them to the hospital in the morning but only came out to the boat 9 hours later to investigate. And I believe that was after the captain went into town to fetch them.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:21   #2
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

This is a very rough world. Is this area known to be trouble? ...or....was this something that does not normally happen there?
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:32   #3
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

With the world economy in the tank crime is more prevalent.
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Old 09-07-2012, 13:12   #4
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Sorry, but where is Bocas del Toro?
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Old 09-07-2012, 13:21   #5
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Panama I think
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Old 09-07-2012, 13:23   #6
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...pelago_map.png


Mental note to self......make companion hatches fore and aft from CC out of bisalloy, with loophole for midnight spearfishing....you never know when you might develop a craving for sushi at 1am. What? Jose and Pedro? Nope, sorry, never heard of 'em. Another glass of rum, inspector?
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Old 09-07-2012, 13:25   #7
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Higgins View Post
Sorry, but where is Bocas del Toro?
Panama. Pretty big tourist destination.
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Old 09-07-2012, 14:50   #8
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Bocas is at the Western end of the Caribbean side of Panama. A big cruiser destination and generally crime free except for petty thefts. Rewards have offered and the boatinf community is pushing hard for a resolution. But this is Central America so who knows what will happen. Another boater who lives here said the penalty is probably only 5 years in prison. They just raised the penalty for murder to 10 years.
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Old 09-07-2012, 14:55   #9
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Sucks!

But if it had been a home invasion it would barely make the local news. Lets not use this sad incident to make cruising a dangerous thing. I believe in Latin American the biggest crime area is break ins, we need to make our boats secure.
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Old 09-07-2012, 14:58   #10
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

panama has been offering lovely expat packages of late--i guess this incident could well slow that business down some, eh?
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Old 09-07-2012, 15:13   #11
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

With all the difficulties (and there are a few) considered it kinda makes me think harder about cruising with a guard dog it could end up being a very real option.
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Old 09-07-2012, 15:21   #12
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

[QUOTE=Don Lucas;987119] Lets not use this sad incident to make cruising a dangerous thing. QUOTE]

No...Let's not do that...Hey...she was whacked in the face with a gun and raped 3 times! I'd say that was dangerous. I understand your point but cruising has many risks. We have to have a grasp on the reality of cruising. Staying at home on the Internet is not a dangerous thing. Sailing a boat on the open Ocean to foreign countries that live in poverty can be dangerous. Some people I met in the 90's modified their companionway steps to fold up and block entry into the boat. It wouldn't hurt for us to draw conclusions from this incident and look at our own security and how we can't protect ourselves and loved ones.
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Old 09-07-2012, 15:24   #13
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

mebbe i will wait in mexico longer or find strong male crew for panama.......
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Old 09-07-2012, 15:32   #14
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

[QUOTE=Celestialsailor;987138]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
Lets not use this sad incident to make cruising a dangerous thing. QUOTE]

No...Let's not do that...Hey...she was whacked in the face with a gun and raped 3 times! I'd say that was dangerous. I understand your point but cruising has many risks. We have to have a grasp on the reality of cruising. Staying at home on the Internet is not a dangerous thing. Sailing a boat on the open Ocean to foreign countries that live in poverty can be dangerous. Some people I met in the 90's modified their companionway steps to fold up and block entry into the boat. It wouldn't hurt for us to draw conclusions from this incident and look at our own security and how we can't protect ourselves and loved ones.
I agree! Hope you are not suggesting with my partial quote that I was suggesting otherwise! My home has been invaded in the middle of the night while we were home; I still come home to it but I lock the doors now!
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Old 09-07-2012, 15:50   #15
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

It would be interesting to crunch some numbers and get a real world comparison between the dangers of living on land in large western urban areas, and the cruising lifestyle. I suspect we're safer at sea, but since we are so few the incidents more noticeable. Still, best to be prepared and street smart.

Hmmm....perhaps hire myself out as bodyguard in exchange for seatime? Housetrained, rabies shots, loves saltwater, friendly and gentle with children and old people. Loyal and territorial, bites better than barks. Does not hump legs (much, anymore), though quality rum may provoke relapse. PM for negotiations.
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