Monday, January 20, 2014

St. Lucia: Update--Food for Thought

COMMENT: First of all, my condolences and sympathies go out to both sides of Roger and Margaret's families that the British couple never had the opportunity to read my book, as it may very well have saved their lives. I thoroughly regret this very much.

I have said so often in my book, STAYING SAFE ABROAD: TRAVELING, WORKING AND LIVING IN A POST-9/11 WORLD, "there are NO safe places…anywhere….Criminals can be found wherever those of means can be found."

Now, please read the below link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10584505/St-Lucia-is-a-safe-place-to-go, which highlights that St. Lucia is "safe."

I have been safeguarding people from all forms of calamity for the better part of 30 years. After a 20+-year career as a US Regional Security Officer (RSO) and associate director of security, I then served as the security adviser at the Inter-American Development Bank for ten years and eventually as an international security consultant where I helped protect the interests of multinational companies in developing countries.

During 1986-2001, I lectured at the US Foreign Service Institute where for 15 years I advocated that all travelers must take responsibility, systematically, for their own security and protection.

I should also emphasize that leaving one's security to police, albeit effective, is a recipe for victimization, particularly in areas that can be described as "developing," where very often a sparse and ineffective law enforcement presence can often be found.

According to the US Department of State, roughly 50 homicides were reported in 2011, up from 48 murders in 2010, which is abnormal for any Caribbean island-state, particularly one having a  population of only 174,000 people.

Unfortunately, for most foreign visitors to St. Lucia they don't realize that an abnormal number of foreigners have been killed there.

What is most interesting is that there was no 2012 or 2013 homicide stats available for St. Lucia, which could suggest that the rising murders were problematic for a tourism destination.

As many of our readers know, my May 2008 book entitled "Staying Safe Abroad: Traveling, Working and Living in a Post-9/11 World," has a chapter entitled"Maritime Piracy," which offers international yachters a number of  efficient solutions in keeping pirates and unwelcome boarders off their vessels.   

Readers should also know that in June 2014 a complete updated e-book (Kindle, iPad and Nook) of "Staying Safe Abroad: Traveling, Working and Living in a Post-9/11 World 2014" will be released, including an expanded and updated version of the chapter entitled "Maritime Piracy," which addresses attacks on pleasure yachts of late.

The back cover of my book says the following:

"STAYING SAFE ABROAD is about thinking and behaving proactively in an increasingly uncertain, turbulent and perilous world. STAYING SAFE ABROAD will not scare you, but rather educate you on the threats you may face, and empower you with solutions that will minimize personal risks while traveling internationally."

Although I make reference to the homicide rate in St. Lucia being abnormal for its small population, statistics are not the only rule of thumb. Whenever I see good peoples' lives destroyed by criminal violence, I do feel bad thinking that there just might have been something…anything...that I could have done to prevent their tragic experience.