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Old 21-03-2012, 14:57   #1
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Belize Safety

Sunday night, March 18th, 2012 a Moorings 46 ft Catamaran was boarded and robbed. One woman was raped and another woman and husband were both stabbed. This attack occurred in the vicinity of "The Pelicans" in Belize. It is reported that all are stable at this time. It was being said that this was the first indecent of this type in Belize. This is not the case. Last evening I talked to a skipper of a private catamaran (owner was not aboard) that was boarded while underway. The Capt. was pistol whipped, he feigned unconsciousness, and the mate was unharmed letting the perpetrators get away with everything. This attack happened three miles from Placencia. This event happened six weeks earlier. There has been several muggings on land on beach paths while we have been in Belize. These attacks are happening in dark, unlit areas of beach walks. There have been muggings in both San Pedro and Placencia. I am putting this out because before coming here I thought as long as you stayed out of Belize City you were pretty much OK. We have stayed out on anchor in isolated Cays not knowing of these dangers or attacks. This will not be the case anymore. There is probably more to say on this subject but my primary intent here is to share the facts and knowledge and not speculate. Be safe all.
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Old 21-03-2012, 16:54   #2
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Re: Belize Safety

I used to live in Placencia and ran charters in Belize for about 5 years up until 2010. Never encountered any "security issues" in Belize. Historically, violent crime has been unusual in the Placencia area and usually precipitated by a conflict between locals. Violent crime involving tourists in Placencia was almost unheard of (tourists doing dumb stuff like getting in bar fights not counted). Petty theft was fairly common in Placencia, but not armed assaults.

The recent event is the only violent event I have ever heard of involving a foreign vessel (inclusive of charter vessels) -- ever. Never heard any reports of the other incident you mentioned -- did he report it or post it anywhere? There have been non-violent thefts from foreign boats, but never a flat out armed assault, that I know of.

Odd that they would hit out at the Pelicans. Nearest populated areas are Dangriga/Sittee River/Hopkins...a long skiff ride to rob someone. The Pelicans are a popular anchorage though...

Historically, Belize overall is a pretty tranquil place. Crime tends to be centered around Belize City and San Pedro. In the past, out side of those venues violent crime rate has been quite low.
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Old 27-03-2012, 12:33   #3
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Re: Belize Safety

Here is more details on the attack from the captain of the attacked boat
Tourists on Chartered Sailboat Attacked and Robbed - The Belize Forums

This seem to be a targeted attack against unarmed tourists by most likely brutal non-Belizean criminals with no mercy. Anyone in the Bay of Honduras/Southern Belize or heading that way should be made aware. This is first incident of this kind and brutality in Belize and if left untreated will result in more. There was escalation of attacks against cruisers and boaters in Rio Ducle, Guatemala over the last few months, so these might be related. Spread the word.
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Old 28-03-2012, 10:16   #4
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Re: Belize Safety

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Originally Posted by sailnw View Post
Here is more details on the attack from the captain of the attacked boat
Tourists on Chartered Sailboat Attacked and Robbed - The Belize Forums

This seem to be a targeted attack against unarmed tourists by most likely brutal non-Belizean criminals with no mercy. Anyone in the Bay of Honduras/Southern Belize or heading that way should be made aware. This is first incident of this kind and brutality in Belize and if left untreated will result in more. There was escalation of attacks against cruisers and boaters in Rio Ducle, Guatemala over the last few months, so these might be related. Spread the word.
It is especially tragic that this attack was so brutal. Attacks here on the Rio, the most recent and in the past, are typically not violent as long as the victims comply (although the tangible threat of violence is certainly a factor). Rape of foreigners is also not the norm here. This leads me to think these are not directly related to events in Guatemala or at least not perpetrated by the same people.

In his post linked above, the skipper mentions that the bad guys spoke English "sort of..". The Kriol language is a derivation of English which is only spoken in Belize. So, if they spoke Kriol then they were almost certainly Belizean.

(related note: the victim who posted on "The Belize Forum" has the same username there as I do here, but we are not the same person).
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Old 29-03-2012, 12:44   #5
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Re: Belize Safety

Thanks for the fyi on Belize Nauti. I am currently planning an Oregon to Belize trip as we speak. Do you know what type of defense weapons are allowed on board while cruising the Belize waters? All the Best. Fish )
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Old 29-03-2012, 14:46   #6
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Re: Belize Safety

I am not an expert on Belize laws, but I was told once by local customs agent that possession of a firearm or even ammo without proper license or by non-resident is a very serious criminal offense and most likely results in jail term.
In a situation like described in the post, compliance is the best bet to stay alive (considering number of perps and visible possession of at least one firearm). Your best bet is to avoid any solo anchorages and establish contact with other boats. If attacked underway plan on using your boat as a weapon. Best strategy is to wait till proper local authorities take care of this incident and establish better security before heading down that way. As horrible the situation with these folks was, it could have been much worse considering behavior of the attackers.
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Old 29-03-2012, 20:59   #7
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Re: Belize Safety

Thanks Sailin; I just sent you a P.M.
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Old 29-03-2012, 21:19   #8
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Re: Belize Safety

I sent you a P.M. Salin; however it looks like this sites security is not leting it go thru. Let's see if we can "trick the friggin computer" tomorrow as it is gettin late here on the west coast. This Belize situation is looking more serious all the time. best
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Old 29-03-2012, 22:21   #9
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Re: Belize Safety

I don't get it. The link posted sends me to another forum on page 4 with "belizesailor" being the captain of a Lagoon 4600? What kind of boat is that? and then another"belizesailor" is on this forum talking about them? Can someone explain this to me?
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Old 29-03-2012, 22:34   #10
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Re: Belize Safety

As mentioned earlier in this thread these are totally different people behind the same nick on two different forums.
Lagoon 4600 is a SA built 46' sail catamaran commonly used by Moorings charters. Post from another forum seems authentic and matches local news reports and other posts about the incident.
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Old 29-03-2012, 22:35   #11
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Re: Belize Safety

CORRECTION: that is not Lagoon but Leopard. Original poster must have confused the two.
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Old 30-03-2012, 08:24   #12
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Re: Belize Safety

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Originally Posted by Dakota450 View Post
I don't get it. The link posted sends me to another forum on page 4 with "belizesailor" being the captain of a Lagoon 4600? What kind of boat is that? and then another"belizesailor" is on this forum talking about them? Can someone explain this to me?
The "belizesailor" on the other forum is not me -- just the same userID on a different site.
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Old 30-03-2012, 08:35   #13
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Re: Belize Safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailnw View Post
I am not an expert on Belize laws, but I was told once by local customs agent that possession of a firearm or even ammo without proper license or by non-resident is a very serious criminal offense and most likely results in jail term.
In a situation like described in the post, compliance is the best bet to stay alive (considering number of perps and visible possession of at least one firearm). Your best bet is to avoid any solo anchorages and establish contact with other boats. If attacked underway plan on using your boat as a weapon. Best strategy is to wait till proper local authorities take care of this incident and establish better security before heading down that way. As horrible the situation with these folks was, it could have been much worse considering behavior of the attackers.
Guns are illegal for foreigners in Belize and, in most cases, illegal for locals too.

If you shoot a robber with an illegal weapon then you are going to be in deep-doo. It is easy for the authoritties to ID you at this point and, unlike the local who robbed you, the authorities also know you have money (you just chartered a big fancy cat after all) -- they will almost certainly take full advantage of the situation.

Being better prepared for personal security is certainly a good idea, but when you are in an area where you totally do not expect it then it is unlikely you are going to prepare. This is the case with the Pelican Cayes area. I have anchored there, many, many times and never gave security issues a second thought -- after all -- this sort of thing has never occurred before.
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Old 30-03-2012, 08:45   #14
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Re: Belize Safety

I think having a firearm onboard a private boat is worth the hassle -id take my chances with the law- If someone shot a bad guy that came aboard with a wepon -what’s to stop the intended victim from shooting him and sailing away and dropping the body overboard off shore? Yes it’s a risk , but at least you have some kind of chance-as a last resort
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Old 30-03-2012, 09:34   #15
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Re: Belize Safety

If the gun has never been registered to you anywhere, who's to say one of the boarders did not drop it in the struggle and you shot him?
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