US Embassy Warns Tourists of Soaring Gang Violence, 18 Murders in January, in the Bahama

In a recent security advisory, the US embassy in Nassau, Bahamas, has cautioned American travelers about the escalating levels of gang violence and homicides in the region. With nearly 20 people killed in the span of just one month, officials are urging tourists to exercise extreme caution.

The surge in violent crime, spanning burglaries, armed robberies, and sexual assaults, has affected both tourist and non-tourist areas since the beginning of 2024. January alone has witnessed 18 reported murders, primarily attributed to retaliatory gang violence.

“The U.S. Embassy in Nassau advises U.S. citizens to be aware that 18 murders have occurred in Nassau since the beginning of 2024. Murders have occurred at all hours including in broad daylight on the streets. Retaliatory gang violence has been the primary motive in 2024 murders.” the embassy wrote

The embassy’s release emphasized the need for heightened vigilance, particularly when staying at short-term vacation rental properties. Incidents of violence have occurred at all hours, including broad daylight on the streets.

Americans visiting the Bahamas are advised against physically resisting any robbery attempts and cautioned against opening the front door for unknown individuals at hotels or residences. The State Department has placed the Bahamas on its ‘Exercise Increased Caution’ list, urging people to steer clear of water tours and sports due to inconsistent regulation and potential safety hazards.

The advisory also highlights the importance of being cautious during water-based activities, citing recent incidents involving sharks. Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis acknowledged the advisory, noting that efforts to curb crime may lead to roadblocks and unannounced police actions.

Local news reports indicate that the prime minister has introduced a crime plan in response to the spike in murders. A recent incident captured on video revealed the daylight shooting of a 30-year-old man, Antonio Venus, in Tunapuna on January 13. Three armed men emerged from a white car, shot Venus, and quickly fled the scene.

While officials have not yet identified suspects, the government emphasizes the collective effort required to enhance public safety. Travelers are encouraged to stay informed, adhere to safety recommendations, and remain vigilant during their stay in the Bahamas.