UK Foreign Office issues travel warning for Costa Rica

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LONDON, England – 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 http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/north-central-america/costa-rica .

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: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/fast_track/9478002.stm

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.