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  #1  
Old 05-16-2004
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benlolson is on a distinguished road
Strange rumors about Belize being anti-American...

Please forgive me if this question is completely out of line, but I just got off the phone with a friend of a friend who gave me some strange information about Belize. We are planning to charter for two weeks in early August this summer and I was relaying prices/plans with my friend when his buddy got on the phone and started talking about how there have been instances of kidnapping of Americans in Belize recently. I completely didn''t believe him, and actually got a little angry for even hearing it at all.

According to him, his parents are acquaintances of the US ambassadors to Belize, and they would not recommend any Americans going to Belize because of their "inside information" about locals targeting "rich Americans."

It seems that if that were truly the case, there would be more information about it... there would be news stories or posts on this message board, or SOMETHING to indicate that a dangerous situation like that was happening. I have looked around quite a bit in the past hour, and have found nothing to indicate the rumors were true at all.

Has anyone heard of anything that can validate these stupid rumors? I have heard nothing but good things about the people of Belize and that the sailing is absolutely incredible. As it stands now, I don''t take anything that dipshit said as truth until I find some proof to back his story up. I''m not going to let him ruin my trip.

I appreciate any input, one way or another -

-Ben
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Old 05-16-2004
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Strange rumors about Belize being anti-American...

Ben,

What you describe doesn''t sound like anti-American sentiment so much as anti-rich folk opportunism.

If you look up Belize at this site, http://travel.state.gov/belize.html, you don''t find much in the way of warning that you won''t find in any Central American country, or any third world country for that matter.

If your friend has information beyond what is sited in this report, it hasn''t made in into the daily updates.

Chas
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Old 05-17-2004
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Strange rumors about Belize being anti-American...

Belize is a poor country. Rich people who flaunt it in places where it is not wise to do so (almost everywhere) will get robbed, regardless of their nationality.

While my fathers friends brother may know something that is true, by the time it gets down the grape vine... yhea.

I have a friend who has FIRST HAND knowledge, and swears that everywhere in Oaxaca, Monkey brain soup is on every corner. My last few trips I SEARCHED and still fail to find it.

Anywhere is ok as long as you dont do anything intentionaly stupid, and remember that a little bit of strength of character combined with a little humility will get you out of (or preferably, help you avoid ever getting into) most undesirable situations.

-- James
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Old 05-17-2004
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Strange rumors about Belize being anti-American...

I''ve been to Belize and dived there. It is, indeed, a very poor country and, as for crime, they probably do not descriminate among nationalities. I was in Belize City and then offshore on the atolls in a dive boat so my experience is not typical. Belize City is fine during the day but I would not venture out at night. (There is no reason to as nothing is open anyway.) As for the atolls; there was no one there so no problems. I have a female friend that has been to Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker on many occasions and hasn''t had a problem. Like all poor countries - and i have been to many - you simply need to be careful. Don''t carry around alot of cash, dont wear jewelry or expensive watches, etc. You will be fine. The diving/snorkeling is some of the best in the world; bring your gear or rent it there. Good luck. Have a great time.









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Old 05-22-2004
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WHOOSH is on a distinguished road
Strange rumors about Belize being anti-American...

Ben:

Based on sailing thru Belize, listening to a year''s worth of discussion on the Western Caribbean Maritime Mobile Net (based out of the Bay Is. but including many crews, mostly American, thru-out Belize for extended periods), and talking to a number of folks who have cruised and chartered there, I think the info you''re getting is offbase and relates to touring generally but is not fairly categorized as ''unAmerican''.

Belize is poor relative to the U.S. but middle of the road relative to the Caribbean; for ''poor'' you might consider Jamaica, the DR, Honduras and of course Haiti. Americans in particular can be atrocious guests in a foreign country...but so can anyone else. I wouldn''t consider the info you were offered to be relevant to your chartering plans; just be a good guest.

Jack
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Old 05-25-2004
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Strange rumors about Belize being anti-American...

I just chartered in Belize out of Ambrigis Cay this past March. Natives were very friendlier - far more so than the BVI. No problems or even close. i was told that crimes against tourists were severly punished. I will return ASAP. These people obviously knew who was buttering their bread.

Word is that Belize City is another matter and should be avoided. If you must stay overnight there - go to the best hotels.
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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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