Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Of All The Places...

I'm sure that there is probably some concern amongst those of you following the news recently of a Canadian man who was shot in the Dominican Republic.  For those of you not on top of this story, here's a brief run down courtesy of CBC News:

"A Quebec City man killed while on vacation in the Dominican Republic was the victim of a robbery plot involving a security guard, local police said Monday.

Jean Gagné, 41, was vacationing with a friend in a private villa in the town of Sosua, east of Puerto Plata, when he was shot on New Year’s Eve.

Gagné’s friend, Alexandre Tremblay, told the French-language television network TVA that they were attacked in the middle of the night by two men.

Tremblay said he was bound, tied to his bed and robbed. Then, he said, he heard gunshots in the next room.

Gagné had been shot in the heart, while a private security guard was shot in the leg."

Scary, I know.  My heart goes out to the family of the deceased.

I'm sure that this is worrying to a few of you, but I want you to know that we are not going to be in the level of danger that these two unfortunate men were in.  What happened is tragic, but as in many tragedies there is are lessons that we can all learn here.  Our own Foreign Affairs Ministry warns us to take precautions when travelling to the Dominican Republic, and I think that one of the strongest precautions you can take is also one of the easiest: stay in a large resort.  I can certainly see the appeal of a private villa, but such places can leave you isolated and make a more appealing target for criminals.  A massive resort is going to have higher security, and be far too high-profile a target.

Another point in the news report that jumps out at me is the list of people who were arrested following the altercation.  It includes two Haitian women who were with the men at the time and are believed to have been involved in the plot, possibly leaving the door open to allow the gunmen easy access.  When travelling to a high-crime area you've always got to have safety in mind, and bringing the locals back to your villa just isn't safe.

I don't mean to come off as critical of the two men who were unfortunate enough to find themselves in this terrible situation, but I just hope that in hindsight we can learn lessons from what happened and all be safer in future because of it.  Sleep soundly my friends and family, and know that I will be mitigating my risks while away.


Colin Young said...

Sorry about the weird colours on the text, apparently a result of my being lazy and pasting some text right from the CBC's website. I've really got to go to work, so I won't have time to fix it at the moment... :P

Jabbles said...

Yeah I was going to forward that link to you. The US has a travel advisory for there but they pretty much say it's no worse than a large urban city. I think this was just an isolated incident of a robbery gone wrong, I think it's still a far cry from the locals killing tourist for sport.

Spruce said...

I'll let the phunky colouration go... this time...

Aunt J. said...

When travelling you need to be aware of what's going on around you and try not to look like a tourist!