Passenger shot while in Guatemala

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#3
2,107 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
I just read about this on another web site. How sad. We were at that port in April & it was our favorite stop. It was the only port we've been to where we felt we were truly appreciated & welcomed by the locals. What a shame that this might have a negative impact on tourism there.
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#4
77 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I was so sorry to hear about this situation. I e-mailed Gus about this situation a few days ago, as we're planning to bring a group on his Humanitarian Tour in January. He told me that he's the Secretary of Security for Livingston County and that the gang members who did this came in from Honduras. He said that new security measures and steps that have been put in place in the area to better protect visitors and that he's taking extra precautions for his guests as well. All that made me feel better - I'm really looking forward to this port!
#5
Pennsylvania
1,784 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
I agree this was a tragedy. This appears to have occured two weeks ago (?). We were in Santo Thomas last Thursday (11/5) on the Ryndam. See the details of our visit in the "Green Bay and Los Escabos" thread.

I will say we never felt threatened in any way. We took the usual precautions and stayed with our small group. It is certainly appropriate in a country such as this to stay with official guides or ships tours.

The people we met in Guatemala were the most warm & friendly we have ever encountered in a port. We were truly sad to leave there.
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#6
Flushing, Queens (New York City)
847 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by StartrainDD
I will say we never felt threatened in any way.
Unfortunately it is difficult for many Americans to tell when they are at risk. Many equate a sense of security by the lack of a physically-intimidating environment.

Remember the opening scenes from the 1985-89 television program, "The Equalizer"? Dark, urban, lonely, graffiti-scarred scenes? Especially to viewers living in the open spaces of suburbia where such an environment is largely absent, these scenes created a sense of threat to many Americans.

On the other hand, rural agricultural environments are viewed by many as tranquil and far-removed from the crime perceived as endemic in large cities. Yet, many of the security incidents in Central America (and Mexico) occur in such rural areas, notwithstanding the picturesque scene. The very lack of many other people in these rural areas is helpful for these criminals to ply their trade, and in that sense, being in a crowded city centre is usually the more secure location (just be aware of pickpocketing). While the man who perished was attacked in a small city, Puerto Barrios, it was in an isolated cemetery rather than a crowded city centre.

Bottom line: Don't let the beauty and tranquility of the environment cause you to believe that it is "safe." Don't be paranoid about going anywhere, but simply keep your street senses up regardless of whether you're in the city or the country.
#7
1,437 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Don't let this shooting put you off Guatemala. Was just on the NCL Spirit 11/15/09 and really loved Santo Tomas. This is one of my favorite places since the people are very friendly and nice.

This is my second trip here and this time went for a city bus tour. It did stop at the same cemetery. We did not have any issues, in fact I did see a guy in the back watching us. He had on some type of yellow reflective gear and might have been security.

We did venture outside the port gates on foot. You will get approached by the taxi drivers but that it so problem. There is not much to see in this town as it is a commercial port. We did have a cute 5 year old girl come up with the cutiest smile asking for a dollar. With her huge smile we had to give her a couple of bucks.

One tour guide told me that these gangsters used to live in USA in L.A as part of a gang. In the USA you can be shot by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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#8
SE TX
1,576 Posts
Joined May 2008
As in any port. there can always be dangers. We were in Santo Tomas less than a year ago. Just weeks prior to our arrival, a couple had been attacked aboard their anchored sailboat.
#9
nova scotia, canada
492 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
We were on the same cruise. This fellow had hired his own taxi to do a tour, getting out to check out the local cemetary. We decided to take a walk outside the compound, and turned back after 1/2 block. We have travelled extensively and both have worked upward of 21+ years in a prison and it made us uncomfortable. I am sure if you are on a tour, be it Gus' or a NCL you will be fine though.