US State Department Issues Travel Warning for Bahamas After 18 Murders Reported This Month

The Bahamas, a popular destination in the Caribbean, is currently facing a travel warning issued by the US State Department due to a surge in violent crime. The department has reported 18 murders in the island nation so far this year, leading to concerns for the safety of American travelers.

The US Embassy in Nassau has raised an alarm about the possibility of Americans becoming victims of gang violence in the capital city, prompting the escalation of the travel advisory to Level 2. The embassy has highlighted retaliatory gang violence as the primary motive behind the recent murders, occurring at all hours, including broad daylight on the streets.

In response to the security notice, the embassy advises Americans visiting the Bahamas to exercise extreme caution, maintain a low profile, and refrain from using physical force in the event of robbery. The State Department also raises concerns about the safety of short-term vacation rentals, emphasizing the need for vigilance and caution in both tourist and non-tourist areas due to the prevalence of violent crimes such as burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults.

Furthermore, the State Department has cautioned against swimming alone and engaging in water-based activities, citing poorly maintained watercraft and the potential lack of safety certifications among operators. The escalating travel advisory for the Bahamas follows a similar alert issued for neighboring Jamaica, warning against violent crimes and urging travelers to reconsider their plans.

However, in response to the embassy’s alert, the Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Philip “Brave” Davis, downplayed its impact on American visitors entering the island nation, expressing confidence in the safety and security measures in place. Nonetheless, the travel warning highlights the growing concerns about safety and security in popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean, urging travelers to stay informed and exercise caution when planning their trips.