RISING Gang Violence and Homicides Prompt US Embassy Security Warning in the Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas: The US Embassy in the Bahamas has issued a security warning for American tourists, cautioning them about the escalating levels of gang violence and homicides in the country.

Since the beginning of 2024, the Bahamas has seen a spike in violent crimes, including burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, affecting both tourist and non-tourist areas. In January alone, there have been 18 reported murders, with retaliatory gang violence identified as the primary motive. This surge in violence has prompted the US State Department to advise Americans to exercise extreme caution and vigilance, particularly when staying at short-term vacation rental properties.

The embassy also urged tourists to refrain from water tours and sports, citing concerns about inconsistent regulation of watercraft and potential safety issues. Additionally, the State Department has placed the Bahamas on its ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ warning list, emphasizing the need for heightened awareness and prudence while visiting the country.

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis acknowledged the impact of the advisory on civil liberties but emphasized its collective benefits in making the streets safer and reducing violent crimes. In response to the alarming murder rate, Davis has introduced a crime plan to address the situation.

In one incident, Antonio Venus of Greaves Street, Monte Grant, was murdered in Tunapuna on January 13, highlighting the severity of the violence plaguing the Bahamas. The video footage of Venus’s shooting has further underscored the urgency of addressing the situation to ensure the safety of residents and visitors alike.

Overall, the security warning from the US Embassy in the Bahamas serves as a stark reminder of the challenges posed by escalating violence in the region, urging tourists and locals to remain cautious and proactive in safeguarding their well-being while in the country.