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post #7 of Old 08-16-2004
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Strange rumors about Belize being anti-American...

Mexico is listed as the second kidnapping capitol of the world. Colombia is first. 2200 people were kidnapped in Mexico last year. Panama is rated as one of the safest countries for Americans. Yet, my digital camara was snatched from me in a mall in Panama City earlier this year. I foolishly had it with me because I was afraid to leave it in the hotel room. The camera bag strap was over my shoulder and I had my hand securely on the bag when it was snatched from behind. One end of the strap broke and a tug of war ensued before the other end also broke. However, the people in the street immediatly began shouting ladron, ladron (thief) and a young man ran after the thief in pursuit. Another ran to the nearest corner
and a police car was there in less than a minute. We careened around the streets of P.C. for a half hour in the back seat of the police car searching for the thief. Of course, we never found him. It was an exciting beginning, almost worth the loss. I was very impressed with the warmth and helpfulness of the Panamenian people. In any of our large cities the same thing could have happened but the passers by might have looked the other way. I visited Colombia two years ago and had a great experience. However, ignorance was bliss. Knowing what I know now I never would have made the trip. Perhaps, better than to ask about anti Americanism it would be more prudent to know which areas are more prone to piratism. The Colombian revolutionaries are always looking for ways to finance their 50 year long war against the government and they contol 40 percent of the country. There is always risk involved in traveling, by whatever mode.
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