USA

Nearly 20 Murders In A Month Prompt U.S. To Alert Travelers To This Caribbean Destination

The U.S. Department of State has alerted American citizens with a travel advisory for the Bahamas due to a significant rise in murder cases within the island nation. There have been 18 reported murders since the beginning of the year, leading the embassy to issue warnings about potential safety risks for those traveling to or residing in the Bahamas.

The advisory points out that the murders in the Bahamas have occurred at various times, including during daylight hours in public streets. It specifically attributes these incidents in 2024 primarily to retaliatory gang-related violence.

To combat the rising crime rate, Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis has introduced several security measures. These include the establishment of roadblocks and enhanced police operations. While acknowledging these steps may inconvenience both locals and tourists, the Prime Minister stressed the necessity of ensuring public safety.

“We will not violate anyone’s civil liberties, but you are likely to be impacted by more roadblocks and unannounced police action,” stated Prime Minister Davis. “This may make you late for your appointments, or delay plans you have, but this is a small price to pay for the collective benefit of having our streets made safer, and our lives less blighted by murder and other violent crimes.”

This advisory followed a recent “reconsider travel” warning by the State Department for Jamaica, highlighting prevalent violent crimes such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides. The advisory also raised concerns about the local police’s effectiveness in responding to serious crimes and the rare conclusive sentencing of criminal cases.

The advisory also addresses safety concerns related to water activities. It notes that commercial recreational watercraft activities, such as water tours, lack consistent regulation.

There are issues with the maintenance of watercraft, and some operators may not possess the necessary safety certifications. Travelers are advised to closely monitor local weather and marine alerts before participating in water-based activities. Operators have the discretion to use their vessels despite weather forecasts, which has led to incidents, including injuries, shark attacks, and fatalities. As a precaution, U.S. government personnel are restricted from using independent jet-ski rentals on New Providence and Paradise Islands.

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