Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Costa Rica: Family of missing UK journalist welcomes Foreign & Commonwealth Office warning on missing tourists

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has altered its official travel advice on Costa Rica following an appeal by the family of missing British journalist Michael Dixon.

LONDON -- The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has published an official warning about the increasing number of missing people in Costa Rica on its travel advice website

The new text includes the line: "Eight foreign nationals (including one British national) have gone missing in the last two years, with some related to criminal activity."

The change comes in response to a letter from the Dixon family to Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Minister of State Jeremy Browne said in a reply to the Dixons on 12 May: "Violent crime against tourists is increasing. The recent increase in the number of foreign nationals missing in Costa Rica is also worrying."

David Dixon said: "There is a common misperception that Costa Rica is a safe place to go on holiday. While it is a beautiful country, travellers need to be aware of the increasing number of tourist disappearances and exercise a much greater degree of caution."

Michael Dixon vanished after leaving his hotel room in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, on 18 October 2009. The story was recently covered in a BBC documentary

Eleven other foreign nationals have either gone missing or were murdered in Costa Rica in the past 18 months. Most of the cases go unsolved.

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DIXON letter to Foreign & Commonwealth Office:

Response from Foreign & Commonwealth Office:

SOURCE David Dixon