Looking for People and Answers
It never fails.
The moment an American or other foreigner comes to harm in an exotic locale, the first response of "community activists" is to undermine his/her story, to declare them unfit for public sympathy and their families unworthy of compassion and voluntary support.
My brother was alternately declared a CIA agent and a narco trafficker because, 72 hours too late to be helpful, we were able to get U.S. aircraft launched to assist in the search for him off the island of Roatan, where he'd gone adrift in a tiny pleasure craft. Part of the mission of the base where those Blackhawk helicopters reside is to participate in search and rescue. But nobody knew. We had to discover the base's existence on our own and then fight to get the Blackhawks into play. Now people know, and when someone goes adrift off Roatan or Utila, the Blackhawks are quickly brought in. Thanks to the knowledge and publicity generated by our loss, at least nine people who I know of are alive today.
Other missing loved ones have been accused of insurance fraud, of abandoning their families, of carelessness, stupidity, criminality, etc. All in the name of obfuscating the dangers that exist in developing-world vacation/retirement spots.
And now it's happening again with regard to the family of another person who has come to harm. I won't name the person, the family, or the locale; if you follow MAP news, you know them already.
Let it here and forever forward be known that the Missing Americans Project exists solely to support Americans and others who disappear or otherwise come to harm while traveling abroad and their families. We provide practical and moral support in situations in which there rarely is any to be had.
"The real story", "The other side of the story", "What really happened" is of zero interest to us. We are unconcerned with judging them or your community. We are concerned only with the safety and well-being of our families and future travelers.
If you fear the impact of their tragedy on the reputation of your particular piece of paradise, feel free to utilize the many tourism and ex-pat sites that exist out there to defend it. They outnumber us - by a lot.
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