Government Ministry reacts to Altun Ha robbery

On Wednesday we reported on the robbery that took place at the Altun Ha Archaelogical Site in the Belize District. As we reported, tour guide from Hattieville, Clifford Hoare, and several tourists lost cash and other valuables to two armed and masked men. While crime is always a matter of national concern, Wednesday’s robbery of tourists at a well visited tourist destination is cause for concern to the already marred image of Belize’s safety as a tourist destination. That question of safety for tourists really arose following the murder of American tourist Anne Swaney in the Cayo district and Canadian national Matthew Klinck.  The robbery of the tourists on Wednesday prompted a press release on Thursday from the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture which states that the Ministry notes with concern and condemns the actions of those criminals involved in the robbery of tour guide Clifton Hoare and eight tourists at the Altun Ha Archaeological Site on Wednesday, March 9th. The statement says,  “ This was a crime of opportunity that presented itself when the group visited a somewhat isolated section of the site. The criminals who had entered through the bushes in the back seized the opportunity to commit their robbery. There was adequate police and security presence at the Archeological Site. Therefore, a quick police response resulted in the detention of several suspects who are residents of nearby villages. An extensive investigation is being carried out.”  The release also says that the safety of visitors to all archeological sites is paramount and the Ministry, through NICH, will continue to work closely with the police, other security personnel, the tourism sector, and local communities to protect the safety and security of all visitors to sites across the country.vlcsnap-2016-03-11-12h02m00s108 vlcsnap-2016-03-11-12h02m03s043

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