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Belize Responds to Tourists Robbed at Altun Ha Maya Site

Police Quickly Detain Suspects – In a press release issued today, the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture notes with concern and condemns the actions of those criminals involved in the robbery of tour guide Clifton Hoare and eight tourists at the Altun Ha Archaeological Site on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

“This was a crime of opportunity that presented itself when the group visited a somewhat isolated section of the site,” stated the release from the Ministry. “The criminals who had entered through the bushes in the back seized the opportunity to commit their robbery.”

There was adequate police and security presence at the Archeological Site. Therefore, a quick police response resulted in the detention of several suspects who are residents of nearby villages. An extensive investigation is being carried out.

The Ministry says it is thankful that no one was injured in the incident and that there was no loss of life. “We assure the general public, and tourists alike, that the safety of visitors to all archeological sites is paramount,” continued the statement. “The Ministry, through NICH, will continue to work closely with the police, other security personnel, the tourism sector, and local communities to protect the safety and security of all visitors to sites across the country.”

The armed robbery occurred at Altun Ha, one of the most visited Maya archaeological sites in the country. The victims were cruise tourists and their guide and according to police, the tourists were then robbed of items including a gold necklace and about $450US. They were on a private tour when the men accosted the tourists and tour guide.

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