HOTEL IN COSTA RICA CLOSES DUE TO GROWING SECURITY PROBLEMS—04/06/13
The Colón Caribe Hotel on the southern coast of Costa Rica has decided to close its doors due to a continuing crime wave in the area. In March 2013, five assailants robbed hotel staff and tourists at gunpoint, making away with laptop computers, digital cameras, cell phones, and cash. The decision was made by the hotel’s management via a press release stating that in spite of local police efforts and help from other public security forces, no noticeable results were obtained. In February 2013, fived armed criminals also forced their way into another hotel in the same area and robbed 18 tourists, taking about $6,000 in cash, cameras, and other personal property. The U.S. Embassy issued an alert to warn Americans living in or visiting the region to be careful.
RARE HERMIT CRAB CAUGHT LIVE IN CARIBBEAN FOR THE FIRST TIME—04/07/13
A rare species of hermit crab that was previously known only because of the existence of dead and dried specimens from about a century ago has now been found alive near the coast of Curacao. The animals, known as Pylopagurus discoidalis, were collected by researchers in a submarine at a depth of 164 to 328 feet beneath the Caribbean Sea. They were discovered as part of the Deep Reef Observation Project sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution.
THREE ON TRIAL FOR STABBING DEATHS OF AMERICANS IN ST. MAARTEN—04/08/13
Three men will be tried for the killings of an American couple at their vacation home on St. Maarten. Michael and Thelma King of South Carolina were stabbed to death in September 2012. The Kings were opening a business on St. Maarten and owned several restaurants on the Caribbean island as well. The three men have not been named and are known only by initials: J.J. W., J.C.M., and M.K J., who confessed to the murders.
ATTORNEY DEFENDS BARBADOS GOVERNMENT POLICY IN MYRIE CASE—04/10/13
Roger Forde is defending the government of Barbados against a charge of discrimination brought by Jamaican Shanique Myrie, who alleges she was wrongly treated by immigration authorities when she went to Barbados in 2011. Forde says that according to the policy CARICOM nationals must be able to pass a test before they can enter the island in order to benefit from the free travel initiative under CARICOM. Myrie’s lawyers have asked the Caribbean Court of Justice to order Barbados to pay significant compensation to their client.
WICB SAYS PAKISTAN WILL TOUR CARIBBEAN IN 2013—04/11/13
According to a statement from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Pakistan will be touring the Caribbean in July 2013, as planned, regardless of media reports suggesting the tour may not happen. The WICB says that negotiations are being finalized and that it is optimistic about the plans. The West Indies is looking forward to the visit by the Pakistan cricket team.
FROGS DISAPPEARING IN CARIBBEAN REGION, EXPERTS ALARMED—04/12/13
Experts are tracking an alarming reduction in the number of frogs in the Caribbean. For example, in parts of Puerto Rico, researchers have previously been able to identify four difference species of amphibians at one time, but now they are finding only one or two. The researchers note the lack of sounds from amphibians as proof of their decline in number. The losses have been attributed to climate change, habitat destruction, pollution, and a deadly fungus. Without serious conservation efforts, experts say there could be a major die-off of Caribbean frogs within 15 years.
JAMAICA, IMF REACH AGREEMENT FOR LOAN PACKAGE—04/10/13
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that Jamaica could get a loan totaling as much as $958 million over four years to stabilize its economy. The IMF said it will recommend the new facility to its board of executives by the end of April 2013. According to the IMF, Jamaica has met all requirements for the loan successfully and recognized the sacrifice of the Jamaican people in attempting to better the island’s economic status.
REVELERS, GAY MEN CLASH DURING TRADITIONAL ROAD MARCH—04/11/13
The traditional road march that closes the Bacchanal season in Jamaica was marred unfortunately when revelers clashed following an incident involving dancing of allegedly gay men. At least three individuals were injured after some revelers objected to the men dancing with one another in what was perceived to be a sexually provocative way. The incident occurred near the end of the march, which was located across different areas of Kingston.
DR. OLIVE LEWIN, PIONEER MUSIC RESEARCHER, DIES—04/12/13
Dr. Olive Lewin, the founder of the Jamaican Folk Singers and a pioneering music researcher died at University Hospital of the West Indies at age 85. She had been suffering from respiratory problems. Dr Lewin is survived by her daughter, Johanna. Lewin wrote several books on Jamaican music, to which she dedicated her life. She also did extensive work with incarcerated individuals.
GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT RENEWABLE ENERGY PLANS FOR SMALLER HOTELS—04/12/13
Jamaica’s government has marked some $15 million in the 2013-2014 Estimates of Expenditures to improve the competitiveness of smaller hotels through the use of renewable energy sources. The Caribbean Hotel Energy and Action Project is operated by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining. Funding is provided through the Inter-American Development Bank.