Originally Posted by Sailor_Hutch
I think third world "crime rate" figures are interpreted in an exagerated way by people who come from Europe
or the US. Many small island countries have crime rates for murder that are double or more the rate in the US. But, you have to look at the absolute numbers and see that the rate is usually low in both places. It's just twice as high in one place than another, but in both places it's still a pretty low number. So, Grenada
is 13, the US is 4, St Lucia
is 21, Burmuda is 7 people murdered per hundred thousand, etc, etc. Most of the crimes in these areas are property related.
Honestly, I wonder how much time you have spent in such places? Of course one doesn't see murder every day even in Honduras
. Does one hear about it? Read about it? Absolutely. Can one find someone who has been touched by it, easily, almost anywhere? Absolutely.
Same applies to Brasil, and many other such places. Last time I was in Jamaica
it was not so much the "ordinary" murders that bothered me or I found extraordinary… it was the "other" ordinary murders. The street "justice" which was a true indicator of the state of violence in that place (I had sailed into and was staying in Port Antonio, otherwise a very nice place, highly recommend "Dickie's best kept secret" for an unforgettable, if slightly vertiginous, dining experience). I was there a couple of weeks and in that period read two small notes in the paper which went roughly like this:
Two men pulled up to a gas station in … and when the attendant had finished and asked for the twenty dollars payment, the driver produced a gun and the line "It's complimentary", and drove off. An angry mob soon gathered and tracked down two men who were alleged to have committed the alleged crime. They were hacked to death with machetes.
A man was accused of stealng a cow. An angry mob went to his house, dragged him out, and chopped him to death with machetes.
Pretty much how it was printed. No investigation, no suspects. End of story.
Don't believe me? Well that was 2006 and the top hit of a search with some of the words I remember from those clippings from the local rag produced this:
Out of control - News - JamaicaObserver.com
The guys I talked to about it in Port Antonio seemed to think it was normal. Business as usual. I asked them how they knew the passenger in the car was guilty, whether anyone had proof of the theft of the cow, or whether 20 bucks was a crime worthy of being hacked to death by a mob… no answer was forthcoming.
Crime differs from place to place, in character and type of victim etc. I have good friends from Brazil
(Fortaleza, a popular who wouldn't even walk to their local convenience store for cigarettes or a liter of milk. Parts
have truly off the scale rates of violent random robberies, often resulting in assault or murder.
Sometimes it isn't just an illusion generated by prejudice…
However the overwhelming majority of the world remains extremely safe for cruising sailors, crime wise at any rate. The thing I tend to worry about more than anything else, even IN high crime locations of the second or third world, is the traffic