|SOURCE:||U.S. Department of State|
Author: Adam Bates
This Security Message is to inform U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Belize of ongoing threats of crime and an increase in sexual assaults in Belize. The crime threat in Belize is high. Random and organized crime is endemic throughout the country. U.S. citizens have not been singled out by reason of their nationality, but are subject to the same threat as all other persons in Belize. As always, we remind you to take normal precautions to ensure your personal security.
There has been an increase in sexual assaults in Belize. While the primary targets have been younger females walking alone at night, assaults have also occurred during home invasions. U.S. citizens should also be vigilant while driving on the Intelco/Mountain View hill in Belmopan. Local criminals target vehicles traveling up this hill at night and surprise the occupants and rob/assault them. In the most recent incident, a couple was robbed and assaulted, and their vehicle stolen.
Although the majority of reported incidents occur in Belize City, crime may occur anywhere including tourist destinations such as San Pedro Town (Ambergris Caye), Caye Caulker, and Placencia. Exercise caution and good situational awareness in all areas of Belize. Visitors to tourist attractions should travel in groups and stick to the main plazas at Maya ruins. While many theft victims are unharmed and only robbed of personal belongings and cash, victims who resist assailants have suffered injury. U.S. citizens who become victims of a robbery should report it immediately at the nearest police station as well as notifying the U.S. Embassy.
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, and health information resources can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1.888.407.4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada or, for inquirers in other areas, by calling a regular toll line at 1.202.501.4444. These numbers are available from 8:00am to 8:00pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
U.S. citizens living in or traveling to Belize are encouraged to enroll with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) website at: https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/ By enrolling, U.S. citizens can obtain updated information on travel and security within Belize, and make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll in person directly with the U.S. Embassy.
Copyright © 2012, U.S. Department of State