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Old 10-25-2010, 03:23 PM   #1
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.... The figures (crime stats) also demonstrate growing discontent among cruisers, many of whom have vowed never to return to Trinidad. For 2010, yachtie arrivals have dropped by 50 per cent. Marinas which are usually full to capacity this time of the year have been especially affected, Niels Lund, of Budget Marine Rigging, told the Express.

"The sentiment among cruisers is that they will not be returning, they don't see why they should travel long distances only to feel threatened and be at risk when they get here," Lund said.

"What a cruiser wants is safety, to anchor and not have to lock the boat. We want good anchorages, a clean environment where we could swim ... If anyone asks whether I will be coming back, I will tell them no. Most of the cruisers I socialise with have said they will not return," said South African cruiser Larry D'aguiar. ....

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Old 10-25-2010, 08:08 PM   #2
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I'm sorry to hear this, but it was bound to happen. Trinidad only came into favor and got so much yacht business because of the political problems, theft, and other issues in Venezuela. In 1987 through 1990, Trinidad was considered by the average cruiser to be too dangerous to visit (it wasn't true, but the best cruising guide to the Caribbean claimed that it was crime-ridden and dangerous - that's how it got its bad reputation back in the 70s and 80s). However, when Venezuela started going bad more cruisers started listening to those who had had good experiences in Trinidad, and they've had a good boom for the past decade.

Trinnies have always considered their country to be crime-ridden. It's a beautiful place but the social situation is a bit confused and there's an undertone of resentment by the various ethnic groups. What is good about the article is the publicity - the Trinnies tend to be quite passive, it takes a lot to jolt them into action. Maybe the threat of lost jobs will finally get the people to police their own, rather that depend on "authorities" to do it.

What the cruisers do not understand is that it is their presence that has caused the crime wave. Tourists and cruisers are easy pickings because the rascals don't suffer much in the way of consequences. Tourists are gone in a few days never to return, so even if the crook is captured there's nobody to identify him, nobody to testify against him. Same with cruisers. They're out of there at the end of hurricane season, and it's the permanent residents who are stuck with the consequences of a bunch of rascals who have learned an easier way to feed and adorn themselves than by working. It's terrible to blame the victims, and I wish there were a better way to put it, but that's the way it is.

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Old 11-01-2010, 10:00 AM   #3
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While cruisers are to a small part to blame in that we don't care to stick around often to see justice done and just take the view of leave while you can and don't ever go back. There is also the problem of social mindest thats says stealing from those not "us" is okay. There where many comments on that web page that basically stated that all cruisers are drug smugglers. This is not true but allows those who do nothing or worse yet view the thefts against cruisers as just returns. Until we in the cruising community point out that the majority of us are not rich and that our boats are our homes and the result of our labor and work with local groups to get people seeing us as people and not the "rich", or "criminal" groups who "deserves" to be stolen from; it will not change and just get worse and spread.

It is really sad. The solutions are not easy nor are they always going to work (some folks just prefer to be criminal). I hope that there will be change and in my small part of the world do what I can to bring positive change about. Other than that, I have no absolute answers and will admit that I do have a few biases.

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Old 11-02-2010, 02:51 PM   #4
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I agree that cruisers are "easy targets" and fall victim to crime in Trinidad. Rather like a "sitting duck"... However, they are not causing the crime. We will hope that things improve in Trinidad for the sake of all.

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