Bahamas Travel Warning Issued by US Embassy After 18 Murders Since New Year

NASSAU, Bahamas – The U.S. Embassy has recently issued a travel advisory for the island nation of the Bahamas, cautioning Americans about a spike in murders since the start of the year. The warning highlights the occurrence of 18 murders, some of which have taken place in broad daylight on the streets. The U.S. officials have identified retaliatory gang violence as the primary motive behind the surge in homicides.

The advisory urges Americans to exercise extreme caution, especially in the eastern part of New Providence Island and to maintain a low profile. Additionally, travelers are discouraged from physically resisting in the event of a robbery and are advised to be cautious about traveling at night.

The State Department has placed the Bahamas on its “Exercise Increased Caution” list, attributing the increase in murders to gang violence. The warning emphasized that violent crimes, such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, are prevalent in both tourist and non-tourist areas.

In response to the rise in crime, Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis has announced plans to implement roadblocks and increase police action in an effort to improve safety. While the Prime Minister assured that civil liberties will not be violated, he acknowledged that these measures might cause inconvenience to individuals.

This advisory comes in the context of the State Department also issuing a “reconsider travel” advisory for Jamaica earlier in the week, citing common violent crimes such as home invasions, armed robberies, and frequent sexual assaults. The warning further emphasized the ineffective response of local police to serious criminal incidents and the infrequent prosecution of criminal cases.