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Markus' Travel and International Living Blog

Markus is an enthusiastic traveler, who lives in Houston, TX (USA) most of the time, but also spends some time in Saalfelden, near Salzburg (Austria). He is fascinated by travel and also by his experiences gathered by living in two different countries and continents.

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Sunday, June 12, 2005
Aruba's Murder Misfortune

So there was a murder in Aruba. That blows! Not just for the obvious reasons. Needless to say that these sorts of events are always tragic. In this case however, I also feel bad for Aruba. Aruba has started tourism not too long ago, and they are working hard on it! A little island paradise that is often considered to represent a picture-perfect version of what people think of when they say "caribbean".

So now I understand a lot of people think Aruba is a dangerous place to go....

Hello?!? Is there any sanity out there? Just the fact that a single murder (as bad as it may be) causes this kind of media attention should tell you something: It is extremely unlikely to be murdered there! Compare this to my home of choice: Houston. Just in Houston alone, there were close to 300 murders last year! And that's not a bad number for Houston! 20 years ago there were close to 500 murders. (For detailed information, see http://www.houstontx.gov/police/cs/pdfs/ucr/cs_ucr_1985to04_summary.pdf).

In the entire united states, 16,204 people got murdered (2002). Within the last 20 years, that number was as high as 23,000. (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/overview.htm). The chance of getting murdered in the US currently is 5.6 in 100,000 (it used to be above 10 in 100,000). These are scary numbers, especially considering that everyone is cheering the fact that crime rates are down!

There is no reason not to go to Aruba anymore! Quite the contrary: This incident made clear how unusual murders are in Aruba. The same, btw, is true for most other parts of the world. Especially for Americans, going places like Aruba almost always means that they are at least as safe as they would be at home. (War zones excluded of course). And in most of the western world at least, that is true despite anti-American sentiments. (For comparison, in my home country of Austria, the chance of getting murdered is 0.9 in 100,000 (counting murder and manslaughter... the US number only counts murders...). However, if you don't live in Vienna and are not involved in any drug trafficing or the like, changes of getting murdered are almost 0. See http://www.protell.ch/Aktivbereich/19Archiv/de/2002/03.115d.htm  for details). 

American cities simply are dangerous places to live. Compare American crime rates with other countries' crime rates, and you will see what I mean! Personally, I am thinking about going to Aruba this year. I hear the windsurfing there is awesome...



Posted @ 9:30 AM by Egger, Markus (megger@eps-software.com) -
Comments (30)




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