Sunday, April 22, 2012

Staying Safe Abroad: Puerto Rico: Another US Tourist Raped

Staying Safe Abroad: Puerto Rico: Another US Tourist Raped

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Puerto Rico: Another US Tourist Raped

For our readers who may recall my April 3 posting, which describing the rape of a vacationing US medical student from Massachusetts on the nearby island of Vieques, another US tourist, 21, was raped on Saturday (April 14), in San Juan's upscale Condado district, by an ex-cop who had been fired for cause.

According to EFE, William Rodriguez, has been charged with the crime against the victim. How he was able to even get work as a security guard has yet to be explained.

The chief of the San Juan police district, Maj. Orlando Rivera, said that the alleged rape occurred on the rooftop of the building where Rodriguez was employed. Rodriguez was unable to post bail, set at $500,000, and was remanded in the San Juan suburb of Bayamon.

The director of the state tourism agency, Luis Rivera Marín, acknowledged the authorities’ concern after the violent attack suffered by an American woman on the small island of Vieques, one of Puerto Rico’s top tourist attractions. That victim, a vacationing US medical student, 29, was severely beaten by her assailant on Vieques’ Coconut Beach. He has yet to comment on Saturday's assault.

COMMENT: Despite how small the island of Vieques is (population 9,300), no arrest has been made in the case of the US medical student who was raped and beaten.

Although two rapes of tourists does not make a crisis, the fact is that any rape is too many, particularly on an island of 4 million.

Unfortunately, though, Puerto Rico's overall crime problem IS a major crisis with one of the highest per capita rates of homicide of any US state.

Added to that is a serious problem with police corruption and an extraordinarily high rate of drug violence. For an island that prides itself in being a top tourist destination, the factors just described are not reassuring.

Even though the island's top cop recently resigned because of his inability to control crime, it could easily be a couple of years before the FBI veteran who just replaced him will be able to demonstrate improvement in the situation.

Consequently, I would suggest that tourists wanting to go to Puerto Rico reconsider, as I would be happy to suggest other islands in the Caribbean that are much safer. Simply drop me an email at

No comments:

Post a Comment