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I'm a victim of violent crime in Belize
Up until May 2007, if you'd said there was anything much wrong with Belize I'd have argued with you. I was ready to move my international business to Belize, buy a big place, employ a lot of people, you know the kind of thing a good investment prospect does. But what happened on my test stay in Belize in 2007 changed my view of the country, and as I speak as I find, I'm going to tell you my story, what happened to me:
I'm a very friendly person and I get on well with people. Perhaps I am too trusting, and that is my weakness. In Belize, people are generally very friendly, and I thought this is great - this is the place for me!. In fact, when I went to Belize and lived in a house in the community for several weeks I found people were generally very nice to me. I did not encounter any bigotry or prejudice, and it was only after a few weeks that I was a bit of a shocked to find a bigot, of the type that went out of fashion in the UK 30 years previous, but the neighbours assured me it wasn't just me he was harassing, and he had a bit of an ego problem, or something like that. In the end this wasn't the source of the problem, which instead turned out to be from someone who had apparently befriended me and had got into my trust. I discovered I'd been the victim of a confidence trick on the day I was due to renew my visa, and I found my house key was missing. It had been "borrowed", and you know what that means?: It's been copied! So, I immediately called for a locksmith and changed the locks. This would have solved the problem before it happened, except that I still trusted people.
This is it. I am too trusting. What happened was that on the night of 26th May 2007, two masked robbers tricked me into opening the door. You can have the most secure door locks in the world, but if you have any faith in the good side of human nature, watch A Clockwork Orange and ask yourself if you could be tricked by the type of tactic used by the gang as seen in the film. As soon as the robbers had the door open they were in, and I had no gun, and they were stronger than me, and one of them strangled me while the other ransacked the house. They stole the laptop with the business information on, the high-res digital camera (serial number 0430227773), a decent Accurist watch, some cash, and a few other things.
Of course I phoned the police as soon as the thieves had gone, but there wasn't much they could do. I made a proper report, which took a lot of doing. I went to the hospital and they examined my strangled throat and a couple of knife wounds I'd got, but there wasn't much that could be done. When I got back to the house I knew I was traumatised and it was going to take a lot of doing to get over this. However, I checked over what the robbers had failed to steal. They had been in quite a hurry, and had left the DV3500 mini movie camera, CD player, a 256Mb CF memory card, passport, small amounts of cash in coins that were lying around, etc. I made a particular note that the movie camera was still there after the robbery, and this fact became notably important later. Also, as the crooks were in a desperate hurry, they did not have time to pick over everything and were only there a few minutes, although when you're being strangled and suffocated it seems like longer. However, I know the precise time of the crime as I looked at the clock just before opening the door.
Now let's get this in perspective. Any country can have violent crime, and Belize is no exception to this. Ultimately it's not the violent crime that's the problem which would prevent me moving to Belize. I could get better security and live in a private fortress with security guards who would not be so easy to fool into opening up! It's what happened next that's the problem. This is something so serious I am making a special page for it, as it is much worse than what happened on the night of 2007/05/26. See Police Corruption in Belize (Problem in Belize 2007/05/27). This is something so bad, that if it's not solved, it would mean I would not be able to move there, and would have to find somewhere else to move my international business!
Travel Insurance? Yes, I was covered, but I did not get paid the full amount. Medical treatment was what I was primarily insured for and that was covered, but possessions lost in an attack, I got paid about a third of the value. I still say Well Done to my insurance company! See Insure & Go insurance claim
Also, a special Thanks to Google for placing this page as a useful reference!