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Mar 22, 2012

Rio Dulce Mariners concerned about attacks on foreigners

John Van Zwieten

The news of attacks on visitors in tourist destinations and on the high seas has traveled down the southern coast all the way to Rio Dulce, Guatemala. The cruising community is moored by hundreds of mariners who can easily navigate to Honduras, Panama and Belize.  The violence against foreign nationals is picking up waves. News Five spoke to John Van Zwieten who says that he is not afraid, but many others fear venturing into Belizean waters from the coastal town.


Via Phone: John Van Zwieten, Rio Dulce, Guatemala 

“The boating community here varies; it is about six hundred to eight hundred boats that comes in here for hurricane season, but then go out to cruise in Belize and in Honduras and sometimes Panama.”


Jose Sanchez

“I know you monitored the news in Belize. The incident of the American almost being beaten to death in San Pedro and the rape of the American female last week along with the robbery on that yacht. What was the effect in Rio Dulce?”


Via Phone: John Van Zwieten

“Well everybody heard about it; it was on our online newspaper, the Rio Dulce Chisme indicator and so everybody was talking about it in the evening over cocktails. Everybody; the guy who lives across the dock from me heard about it and he called up a boat broker and sold his boat because he said heck I wanted to cruise in safety here and this makes it seems like I can’t do that. And so he is leaving. I heard numerous other people say they won’t go to

Belize anymore because it just seems as too dangerous.”


Jose Sanchez

“What about you? Does this also affect you?”


Via Phone: John Van Zwieten

“It does not. I’m not your typical cruiser. I come into Belize in my launcher to fish. And I know most of the people on the cayes I stay with are friends and I know that they certainly wish me no hard and in fact are quite protective. And so I don’t worry. And I think if the truth be known, if tourists would get over their emotion, most times they are anchored out where it is safe; in places like Placencia even Tobacco Caye that’s not so far away. But if you are isolated and there is no help for you and I think people are reacting very emotionally and if they stop to think, the chances of it happen are not that great. But when you’re talking about people’s lives, you know. Two years ago we had that guy killed on the river and last year there was another one of our community killed in Honduras on the way to La Ceiba. And you know these things add up on people’s minds.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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5 Responses for “Rio Dulce Mariners concerned about attacks on foreigners”

  1. Rod says:

    As long as this Udp gov and pm are in power all this crime will continue to happen and keeps getting worse if you want to be robbed raped or killed then venture to Belize we are now the Somalia of central America go Udp.

  2. belize guide says:

    fun ny how crusiers from rio dulce would be concerned to come in belize waters when the pirates that are doing these crimes are from that side belizeans know the value of tourism that is not to say some dont mess it up for us but the people responsible for the last attack are from across the border

  3. Evan says:

    The issue with the rape and robbery you have hundurans coming into Belize waters committing the crime and then they leave Belize with a bad reputation that is what is happening

  4. Sauthmawg says:

    Nice, good folks in Texas or Arizona blame crime on Mexicans, good folks in Belize put the blame on Hondurans or Guatemalans. If people just look into the mirror instead looking out for outsiders to blame for their own problems the world would be a much better place.

  5. Jimmy Criminal says:

    The Belize Tourism Board supports criminals raping, hurting and killing tourists as the BTB is run by a bunch of racist pigs.

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