Tourist from U.S. Strangled, Murdered in Belize

Posted on January 16, 2016 • Filed under: Belize, Crime, Latin America Travel

CHICAGO (WLS) — Chuck Goudie and others reported:
One of our ABC7 Chicago colleagues was found murdered Friday while traveling in Belize, according to police in the Central American nation and the U.S. State Department. Anne Swaney was executive producer of online operations at She was 39. Autopsy results determined that she was strangled. “A horse riding tour returned in the afternoon and found her personal effects on the deck. This looked suspicious so they went to her cabin and she wasn’t there. They told the owner who called the police. The police came with their canine unit and the scent led them along the river but due to the darkness the search was called off for the night before finding her,” Supt. Arzu told the I-Team. Police teams resumed searching Friday morning, when her body was found face down in the river. Police said there were obvious signs someone had killed her. “Her neck and either side of her head had laceration and that led us to believe it was a case of murder,” Supt. Arzu said.
There is not a nationwide tourist advisory in effect for Belize. However, tourists are told to exercise a high degree of caution due to an increasing rate of violent crime throughout the country. In that specific “Cayo District,” armed robberies occasionally occur near the western border with Guatemala, especially near Caracol to the south.

Police say criminal activity, including armed robbery, mugging and sexual assault, is a significant problem throughout Belize. Robberies and assaults have been reported in resort areas. There has been a noted increase in violent crime targeting tourists since the end of 2013. Criminals often operate in groups and target persons traveling alone.

Cases of sexual assault against female travelers have also be been reported in that district.

Drug-related crimes are also on the uptick. The transit of drugs, particularly cocaine and precursor chemicals for methamphetamine, has risen. Belize was included on the FY12, 13 and 14 U.S. Majors List of illegal narcotic producing and/or transit countries.

In January 2014, two American citizens were kidnapped at gunpoint from a resort area near the western border with Guatemala.

A Canadian filmmaker was killed in January 2015 to the south of the district.

In May 2015, two American men were murdered in a suspected drug-related armed robbery. An 18-year old suspect was charged. Read Article


Share This Story
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • email