Caribbean hotel closes due to increasing insecurity

April 5, 2013

Colón Caribe Hotel, located on Costa Rica’s southern Caribbean coast, on Thursday announced it would cease all operations because of an ongoing crime wave in the area.

Last month five assailants robbed tourists and staff at gunpoint at the hotel in the early morning hours. They took laptops, digital cameras, clothes, cellphones and cash.

The hotel management announced its decision through a press release, saying that despite the efforts of local police and the support of other public security forces, the results have not been noticeable or as quick as they would like.

“We have private security officers, surveillance cameras at all access points and all our rooms have safes, but our vital interest is in the safety of our guests and staff,” the letter said.

In February, five armed robbers also forced their way into Hotel Samasati, located in the same area, and held up some 18 tourists – most of them U.S. citizens – by herding them into a single room and locking them in. The bandits stole some $6,000 in cash, digital cameras and other personal belongings.

The situation in the area prompted the U.S. Embassy last month to issue an alert on its website warning U.S. citizens living in or visiting Costa Rica to be cautious.

Officials from the U.S. Consular Section visited the region to provide assistance to those affected by crime and “to urge the Costa Rican government to get out in front of this problem,”  the Embassy stated in a press release at the time.

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