These murders take the number of homicides in the Bahamas to 96 and 97 for the year.
The Nassau newspapers read like a war correspondent’s daily account of mayhem and misery. In the last week, the Tribune has blasted headlines like Shootings on the Increase, Two Murders in Six Hours, and Latest Armed Robberies Bring Month’s Total To 30. The Nassau Guardian’s recent gruesome headlines include Two Killed in Weekend Violence and Man Gunned Down Protecting Family.
Last year there were 111 murders in the Bahamas in 2013. The country is averaging 10 murders a month in 2014. The 2013 rate will be exceeded sometime in December.
Defenders of the Bahamas point out that the Bahamas consists of some 700 islands. But there’s no question that the vast majority of these violent crimes occur in New Providence (Nassau) where the majority of the cruise passengers disembark.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Miami’s metro area has a population of around 5.5 million. That’s twenty-two times the population of New Providence (250,000). Miami-Dade had 229 murders in 2013. Even though the Miami metro area has 22 times more people, it has only approximately 2 times as many murders. Plus the police force in Nassau is ineffective, the legal system is broken and the tourism officials try to cover the violence up.
Many cruise tourists have an image of Miami as being high in crime, but they don’t understand that disembarking in Nassau is far more dangerous.
More and more cruise passengers tell me that they stay on the ship when they reach port in Nassau. They say that they’re bored with the straw market and run-down Bay Street. They don’t want to risk walking off the ship into a shabby port and becoming a victim of armed robbery by a young man with a gun.
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Photo Credit: Nassau Tribune