CSSN NEWS UPDATE – Recent armed robbery events in Portobelo, Panama – date 02/02/2019



In January, CSSN reported an incident of armed robbery (2nd hand) and attempted armed robbery (1st hand).The victims of the assault and armed robbery have made contact with CSSN and confirmed the contents of our original report.

Additionally, they advised that they had made prompt contact with their home country consular officials in Panama, and CSSN reminds everyone of this important step. The victims, having returned to their home country, report that they have had contact with the local Panamanian police, but that no progress has been made. No forensic evidence was collected, no arrests have been made, no goods recovered.

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CSSN welcomes Laura Roy to our all-volunteer team

CSSN welcomes Laura Roy to our all-volunteer team.

Laura Roy learned to sail while attending college in California. She became involved in intercollegiate racing, and continued racing competitively at the club level for many years. From her work in biological research, Laura has much experience working with databases, graphics and spreadsheets. A charter in the San Juan Islands of the State of Washington inspired her to pursue a cruising lifestyle. Currently, Laura is cruising the Caribbean with her husband aboard their Bavaria 38 “Siella” while also working as a scientific writer and editor. We welcome Laura to the CSSN team!

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CSSN News – January 24, 2019 – US Dept. of State orders the departure of non-emergency US Government employees and their family members from Venezuela, updates Level 4 travel advisory

Last Update: Reissued after “Ordered Departure” approved on January 24, 2019.

Reconsider travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Level 4 Areas – Do not travel:

  • On roads after dark outside of Caracas due to crime.
  • To certain neighborhoods within Caracas due to crime.
  • Within 50 miles of the Colombian border due to crime.

Violent crime, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, is common.

Political rallies and demonstrations occur, often with little notice. Demonstrations typically elicit a strong police and security force response that includes the use of tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, and rubber bullets against participants and occasionally devolve into looting and vandalism.

There are shortages of food, electricity, water, medicine, and medical supplies throughout much of Venezuela. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 `Avoid Nonessential Travel’ notice on May 15, 2018 due to inadequate healthcare and the breakdown of the medical infrastructure in Venezuela. Consular access to detained U.S. citizens who also have Venezuelan nationality is severely restricted by the Venezuelan government and the U.S. Embassy may not receive access in these cases.

Security forces have arbitrarily detained U.S. citizens for long periods. The U.S. Embassy may not be notified of the detention of a U.S. citizen, and consular access to detainees may be denied or severely delayed.

On January 24, 2019, the Department ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela due to extremely limited infrastructure and poor security conditions.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Venezuela:

  • Do not travel between cities after dark.
  • Avoid travel between Simon Bolivar International Airport and Caracas at night.
  • Do not take unregulated taxis from Sim?n Bol?var International Airport, and avoid ATMs in this area.
  • Avoid demonstrations.
  • Bring a sufficient supply of over-the-counter and prescription medicines.
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Enrol in the Smart Traveler  Enrolment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Venezuela.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Areas outside Caracas

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Caracas as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel outside of Caracas. Inter-city travel by car from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. is strongly discouraged and, in some cases, may be prohibited for U.S. government employees.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Certain neighborhoods in Caracas

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services in certain neighborhoods in Caracas as U.S. government personnel and their families are subject to travel restrictions for their safety and well-being. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling in the following neighborhoods on personal business:

  • Western Libertador (Vista Alegre, San Bernardino, El Retiro, 23 de Enero, Blandin, La Vega, La Rinconada, Las Mayas, Tazon, Oropeza Castillo, Lomas de Urdaneta, Propatria, Casalta, Lomas de Propatria, Carapita, Antimano, Tacagua, Ruiz Pineda, Caricuao, La Quebradita, El Atlantico, Sarria, San Martin, La Yaguara, Coche, El Valle)
  • Eastern Sucre (Barrio Puritu, Barrio La Rubia, Barrio Altavista, Petare, Caucaguita, La Dolorita, Paulo Sexto, El Llanito)
  • Specific neighborhoods in Baruta (Las Minas, Santa Cruz del Este, Ojo de Agua, La Naya, Las Minitas)

U.S. personnel are also prohibited from travel outside of the Embassy’s housing area between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. in a single, unarmored car. Additionally, all U.S. personnel are required to be out of public venues and physically located within the Embassy’s housing area or another specified secure location from 2:00 a.m. until 6:00 a.m.

See the Safety and Security section of the country information page for additional details.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Colombian border

Drug traffickers and armed groups are active in the Colombian border states of Zulia, Tachira, and Apure. Cross-border violence, kidnapping, drug trafficking, and smuggling occur frequently in these areas. Some kidnap victims are released after ransom payments, while others are murdered.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens within 50 miles of the Colombian border as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel there.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

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CSSN UPDATE – January 22, 2019 – When a half mile matters!

We recently issued an ALERT! and unfortunately the location was incorrect, by about a half of a mile, but a half mile that matters.

A dinghy theft originally reported as occurring in Petit St. Vincent, a part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, actually occurred in Petit Martinique, a part of Grenada – a Petit error if ever there was one!  Sorry for any confusion but we work hard to make sure all of our reports are accurate. You can review the updated report here.

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CSSN Welcomes the C-1500, ARC , and ARC+ 2018 rally participants to the Caribbean

ARC 2018 Start

The 33rd year of ARC arrivals are now in the Caribbean. This year the World Cruising Club organized 4 separate fleets, departing southbound from Hampton, Virginia for the BVI, (Caribbean 1500) and 3 groups departing Canaries/Cape Verdes (ARC, ARC+) for St. Lucia and (new this year) St. Vincent, ocean passages of 1500 to 2700 nm.

This year’s ARC/ARC+ fleet was diverse, representing many nations, and included a record number of boats (255) and 1500+ crew of all ages on yachts from 30-130 ft. Prizes were awarded in all racing and cruising divisions as well as other special achievements. You can review the detailed results for all divisions on the WCC website.

The all-volunteer team at the Caribbean Safety and Security Net (CSSN) congratulates all WCC rally participants on their outstanding achievement and hopes all will enjoy safe cruising in the Caribbean. CSSN encourages those who are new to the Caribbean, and those who are returning to utilize the many resources made available at the CSSN website www.safetyandsecuritynet.org

Check out our new and very popular feature, Zoom-Tap, Know and Go! , an interactive, device friendly tool that allows you to understand events in every Caribbean anchorage, using an easy to navigate graphical interface. Take it for a test drive today, and sign up for our (free) ALERTS! , stay well informed and Know Before You Go!

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