The spike in violent crimes across Belize in 2014 has prompted the U.S. State Department to release a revised crime and safety report which points out that the country has seen an increase in theft and murder over the past year. Despite the fact that a majority of tourist destinations, including archaeological sites and cayes, have been deemed safe for visitors, there is a warning against visiting the south side of Belize City. The general area, which also includes Regent Street, where the House of Culture is located, as well as St. John’s Cathedral on Albert Street, is described as a hotbed for gang activity and other crimes. Ironically, hundreds of tourists traverse the area on foot or by horse and carriage on a daily basis as part of organized visits to the previously mentioned locations. The report also urges travelers to exercise extreme caution while driving Belize into bordering countries.

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US Discourages Its Citizens to Travel to Belize

The Overseas Security Advisory Council of the United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security has issued a warning to its nationals against travelling to Belize. According to the online report, Belize’s crime threat is very high with the majority being burglaries and thefts. The report goes on to say that corruption, human smuggling/trafficking, the drug trade, money laundering, and organized gang activity remain significant problems. US nationals are advised to avoid south side Belize City. The reports goes on to remind the would be tourists to Belize on how many foreigners have been murder recently including the charge d’affaires at the Panamanian Embassy, Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa, and Lynn Nichiporowich who was stabbed to death in Corozal. As for the Belize Police Department, the report describes it as understaffed and poorly equipped with investigations being slow and deficient. The report also speaks of Belize’s road conditions describing them as generally poor. Several reports have been published warning US Citizens against traveling to Belize, so what is being stated in the report is nothing new. How it affects tourism, if it does at all, is uncertain.