When I clicked on the link "When Crime Comes to Paradise," an article from the New York Times Travel section, the first thing I noticed was a photo which mentions the murder of a tourist who was killed back in February of this year in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. This article delivers a very strong and important message: do not let your guard down, even while on vacation. According to today's paper, as of last night, there have been 839 murders committed on the island this year alone. This is 89 more murders registered during the same time last year. As a point of reference, in 2008, there were 516 murders in New York City, a city with over 8 million inhabitants.
Puerto Rico, which has just less than 4 million inhabitants, has experienced a steady increase in thefts, robberies, and murders. Give the double-digit unemployment level, and the economic crisis, the island is experiencing a signifcant increase in crime. This is especially true during the holiday season. Something which is frequently published in the local paper is the murder rate. Having lived in New York City most of my life, I don't recall ever having been so conscious of the number of crimes committed during the year in the Big Apple. While I do not intend to raise fear, I do strongly suggest anyone visiting the island to be aware of their surroundings. Use common sense and follow your instincts. Be sure to lock your room, car doors and trunk. About.com actually provides some safety tips for travelers visiting Puerto Rico. Just remember, do not throw caution to the wind.