The Missing Americans Project

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Investing in Real Estate or retiring in Roatan, Honduras

One may come off a cruise ship and think this is paradise, or stay for a short vacation and believe this is a perfect place to live, retire, invest in Real Estate, have a business ect. but the truth is that this is far from paradise. It is common practice here on the Bay Islands to purchase property and months, sometimes years pass, only to find out that someone paid off a public official and now they own your home or business!! It is also common practice here on the Bay Islands that if you try to take legal action against the perpetrators you will be murdered. Yes, I said murdered. It is cheaper to pay a hit man than have to fight someone in Court. Ha Ha Court, that is also a joke! There is no functioning judiciary in Honduras. If you should however elude getting whacked, not one lawyer will take the case for fear that they too will fall victim to retaliation. I can personally say this because my husband was almost murdered by a paid hitman on April, 12, 2010 because we were filing fraud charges against the Real Estate Company/ Owner (American owned) and Lawyer for defrauding us in a Real Estate purchase we made in the year 2006. We paid five separate Lawyers to represent us and the day my husband was almost murdered no Lawyers would return our calls nor represent us. Needless to say, we spent thousands of dollars over the years trying to find justice, only to find it is non-existant in Honduras. Forget getting the State Department or the US Embassy to assist, the only answer we have received from the Embassy was to move or hire a 24 hour body guard! What happened to the State Department's responsibility to uphold treaties between foreign investors and Honduras? I have known so many American's and Canadian's that have come here to Honduras and invested their retirement savings to live a decent life, only to be defrauded of all their life savings. Again, there is no legal recourse. Why is our Government sending millions of our tax dollars to this third world Country that has no judiciary??? Of course if one were to come to Roatan to buy a business or buy a home you will hear a different story from the seller. Don't waste your time asking about legalities to any Real Estate Agent or Businessman. They just see you as a way of lining their pockets. In my entire life I never personally knew anyone that had been murdered. Since I have lived in Roatan I have known personally seven people that have been murdered. None of which have been solved. The murder rate in Honduras is 86 per 100,000 people. The murder rate here on the Island of Roatan is 34 per 100,000 people. That does not even count all the violent crimes that occur on a daily basis. I do still live here in Roatan but not by choise, when you are defrauded of your savings it is a little hard to just pick up and leave. Many friends that I have met here have pleaded with me to not disclose to visitors the violence, fraud, and murders that takes place on what appears as a peaceful Island. They relay it hurts their investment, well I too have an investment but that does not negate the fact that I never want anyone to go through the same mistake that we have endured. Right is Right and Wrong is Wrong! May God Bless You.

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