Looking for People and Answers
Another conversation with another mother (in this case, a mother -- could be a father, daughter, son, sister, brother, friend...) of a person missing in a foreign country, her own government (and mine) unwilling, unable to provide meaningful guidance, support, advice. I'm happy to be able to provide a bit of moral and practical advice and a connection with someone in her state who has been through the same ordeal. Then I'm on Facebook and see a guy who is scheduled to move in a couple weeks to Roatan (the island in Honduras where my brother disappeared, where Paul Lima's Dad was murdered, where a friend was shot at for daring to take a real-estate fraudster to court -- the shooter has since been made a police officer on the island -- where a young man was shot at point-blank range in the back in front of dozens of witnesses and still, a year later, this shooter -- a well-known local -- has not been brought to justice) NOW deciding to ask advice from folks living on the island as to whether he should go through with it.
I'm glad to know more than I knew 4 years ago and want to share that knowledge in a reasonable and fair way to protect people who might be thinking about visiting or, worse, moving to the developing world. Please, people, if you're even beginning to consider thinking about moving to the Third World (and, YES, Costa Rica counts as part of the Third World!), do SERIOUS HOMEWORK. Don't just Google it and look at the pretty pictures. Don't just look at the embassy websites. Make it your business to know what you're doing and how to protect your family from having to go broke looking for you if you disappear. More realistically, learn about the legal, judicial, health & safety infrastructure. Become an investigative journalist. Become a detective.
There's a good reason "paradise" is cheap. You get what you pay for.