Dominica Passport | Caribbean Recipes | Dominica Photos | Classified Ads | Search Jobs | Advertise here!

Experience Dominica – The Nature Island: Dominica Vacations | Exotic Vacations | Honeymoon Destination

Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.


bowen couple murder

Editor’s note:This is a guest post from Danielle Edwards – a Literature and History student and an aspiring Journalist.

Weeks after our Caricom leaders’ agreement to market regional destinations as part of a complete ‘One Caribbean’ regional experience instead of individual island territories, we’re faced with the growing challenges of sharing each other’s problems…

In the heat of this summer’s Carnival festivities, the brutal murder of a British couple honeymooning in Antigua has sparked outrage among locals, government officials and foreigners alike.

Only a fortnight after blissfully cutting their wedding cake together, the Mullanys were attacked and shot before sunrise at their secluded luxury cottage in the Cocos Hotel last week. A £66,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of their murderers, and authorities in Antigua & Barbuda are now scrambling to implement ‘extraordinary measures’ and ‘beef up security’ to prevent such incidents from happening again.

Unfortunately, it seems like officials may be trying to play this off as an isolated incident as they are extremely frantic about the country’s tourism image. The Tourism Minister Mr. Harold Lovell has said that ‘This isolated incident has deeply shocked our community and we wish to reassure visitors that Antigua and Barbuda is a safe destination’. This move has not gone unnoticed by the international media. According to a BBC news report, ‘people who live there say…that crime is increasing’.

There have been a whopping 10 murders so far in Antigua for the year in addition to numerous incidents of armed robbery and sexual assault- a big number for a little island. Most of these crimes remain unsolved, but some persons have, unbelievably, found comfort in the fact that the majority of homicides have been committed against locals and not foreigners. However there is no doubt that the crime rate is far too high. In 2006 alone there were 19 killings.

Many Antiguans are upfront about the problem, citing gang war as the underlying menace. There are allegedly more than 10 territorial gangs on the island! In fact, days before the Mullanys were murdered police discovered 100 rounds of .38 ammunition and a gunman’s mask in a local residence.
But while some of us may be inclined to brush this incident off as an Antiguan problem, in reality it has implications for the wider Caribbean. It comes just weeks after our Caricom leaders decided to market the region jointly as part of a ‘One Caribbean’ marketing campaign.

Since, according to Mr. Ralph Gonsalves, ‘We don’t have the resources to be aggressive individually’, our Caribbean nations will no longer be promoted as single islands, but jointly as a regional destination. There will no longer be different places and faces- we will all share one face for the prospective tourist.

While this agreement certainly has potential economic benefits, one of its foreseeable implications is likely to be that the negative impact of crimes such as the Mullanys’ murder on the Antiguan tourism industry would also be shared by other islands such as Dominica and St. Lucia. In other words, one island’s crime would inescapably affect the image of all the islands.

Already, territories like Jamaica, which has one of the highest crime rates in the world, and Trinidad & Tobago are grappling with the suppression of crime at home.

So the question arises- have our leaders prepared themselves adequately for this new tourism strategy? It’s worth wondering whether or not they are all currently aware of the circumstances surrounding this particular crime, which has already prompted several flight cancellations to Antigua, and the fact that its criminal investigations are being impeded by a ‘code of silence’.

We the people know how wonderful life is in the Caribbean, but many tourists can be easily discouraged from visiting the region by atrocious crimes, many of which are never easily solved. And now, our leaders are faced with the challenge of fighting crime all over the Caribbean and not only in their home territories- whether they wish to accept this reality or not.

And they may not be quite ready to deal with this challenge.

Sources: TheSun.co.uk & BBC.co.uk/Caribbean

Zemanta Pixie

Share this Dominica article with your friends:

Facebook Twitter Google Buzz Google Bookmarks Digg Reddit delicious Technorati Slashdot Yahoo My Web

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Related Post

The launch of the new travel and tourism discoverDominica.com is a state of the art site, which displays Dominica’s natural wonders and rich cultural heritage make it an exceptional ecotourism destination. Virgin flora covers these dramatic mountains, creating swaths of verdant landscapes. The residue of the fiery forces that created the island thousands of years ago, as part of the Caribbean Ring of Fire, bellows in several hot springs, valleys of steaming earth, and a boiling lake which is the second largest in the world.

Along with geothermal wonders come natural coolants: hundreds of pristine rivers and streams web the island’s lush terrain. Pure rainwater sets brooks and cascades into motion by rushing down picturesque cliffs. Dominica’s travel and tourism office invites you to visit our island and defy popular notions of a Caribbean vacation.

Share this Dominica article with your friends:

Facebook Twitter Google Buzz Google Bookmarks Digg Reddit delicious Technorati Slashdot Yahoo My Web

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Related Post




Business Key Top Sites