The unsolved double murders of 53 year old Canadian National Francesca Matus and 36 year old U.S. National Drew DeVoursney have brought the focus of the international media upon us and a whole lot of bad press.
The murders have been covered by a wide array of international, primetime news agencies including CNN, ABC and various news channels from Canada. Along with the recent double murders in Corozal Town, the international press has also taken note of Belize’s high crime rate, the violent killings in Belize City and the shoddy prosecution record of the Police Department and prosecution system. Belize’s sensitive tourism image stands to lose from the negative press reporting, but there is worst to report tonight.
The Canadian Government has issued a serious travel warning to its citizens about traveling to Belize. Canadians are warned to exercise a high degree of caution if travelling to Belize due to a high rate of violent crimes throughout the country. The Canadian government warns about criminal activity, including armed robbery, mugging and sexual assault, saying it is [quote] “a significant problem throughout Belize including in resort areas.” [end quote]
The warning speaks emphasizes the need for female travelers to be secure, especially those who travel in groups and avoid isolated areas, including unsupervised beaches, especially at nights, since cases of sexual assault against female travelers have been reported.
Now this is not the first travel warning against Belize, and Belize is not the only country being blacklisted in a sense, since it is among 8 countries in the Caribbean against whom the travel warning was issued. The other countries are Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Suriname.