The United States is warning travelers to the Bahamas to be careful after 18 murders in the capital this year

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On Friday, the US State Department raised its warning level for those wishing to travel to the Bahamas, urging “increased caution,” as the country’s capital recorded 18 murders this year.

The raise to Level 2 follows a security alert posted on Wednesday by the US Embassy in Nassau, which expressed concern that Americans could fall victim to gang violence in the capital.

“Murders occur at all times, including in broad daylight on the streets,” the embassy said in its alert. “Retaliatory gang violence was the main driver of homicides in 2024.”

U.S. travelers are advised to be especially careful in Nassau, to exercise caution when out at night anywhere in the Bahamas, to “keep a low profile,” be aware of surroundings, do not resist if confronted by thieves, and review security plans. .

The State Department added that short-term vacation rentals raise the additional concern that the type of private security found in hotels is often lacking. Gang crime in Nassau is not ring-fenced outside areas frequented by tourists, she said.

“Violent crimes, such as robberies, armed robberies and sexual assaults, occur in both tourist and non-tourist areas,” it said in its travel warning.

The State Department also warned that many recreational watercraft rentals, tours and excursions are inconsistently regulated and therefore come with an additional layer of risk.

“Watercraft may be poorly maintained, and some operators may not have safety certifications,” she added. “Always review and listen to local weather and marine alerts before engaging in water activities.”

The department also warned Americans against swimming alone in the Bahamas, where this happened Recent shark attacks.

Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis on Thursday responded to the embassy’s warning, saying it was unlikely to impact the number of American tourists in his country, the Bahamas’ daily news platform reported. platform.

He added that the United States has the right to issue such alerts, and the Bahamas does the same, the newspaper reported. The American warnings came at a time when Davis called for strict measures against crime, including amending bail standards protected by the Constitution.

The Bahamas Police Commissioner and a spokesperson for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

On Tuesday, the US State Department raised its advisory level for travel to Jamaica to Level 3 – this urges Americans to reconsider going to a particular country – based on violent crimes and irregular access to emergency medical services.

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