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
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
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)