Monday, December 3, 2012

St. Lucia: Please Remember That There Are No "Safe" Countries

Police in St. Lucia announced last week that they have arrested a 26-year-old suspect in connection with the assault, robbery and murder of 75-year-old Canadian Colin Peters, 75, who was assailed on November 15, while walking with his wife on a beach.

The victim, who was from Prince Edward Island, sustained severe head injuries and died four days later. Media reports on the incident did not reflect whether Mr. Peters resisted the criminal's efforts or not.

The assailant was also in possession of the senior's camera at the time he was arrested.

COMMENT: First of all, my condolences, prayers and thoughts go out to Mrs. Peters and the couple's respective families. 

Actually, St. Lucia has recorded fewer homicides in 2012 than in 2011, yet for a destination highly dependent on tourist income, any violent attack on a visitor is not good news.

Most violent crime is generally attributed to the growing drug trade prevalent on a global level.

For all of our readers, I strongly and adamantly urge that if you are confronted by a criminal, armed or not, do not resist in any way. Avoid eye contact and give them what they want.

I emphasize this because of the comment made in my book, STAYING SAFE ABROAD: TRAVELING, WORKING AND LIVING IN A POST 9/11 WORLD, which states that economic crime has escalated in virtually all countries in recent years, which means that there are no "safe" countries where you can let your guard down.

It is essential that all of us exercise a proactive sense of security awareness at all times. This is particularly true of the elderly, who are often targeted by design.  

Last year [2011], two British women who were volunteering on a conservation project were raped by a group of masked assailants on an isolated stretch of Grande Anse beach. 

Also last year, a Danish woman was shot in front of her husband and two friends during a home invasion in Soufriere, the tourism capital of the scenic tropical island.