Victims of Crime

The State Department is committed to assisting U.S. citizens who become victims of crime while abroad.  We help in two ways:

  • Overseas: consular officers, agents, and staff work with crime victims and help them with the local police and medical systems.
  • In the United States: our office of Overseas Citizens Services will stay in touch with family members in the United States, and help provide U.S.-based resources for the victim when possible.

If you are the victim of a crime overseas:

  • Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate:
    • Consular officers are available for emergency assistance 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.
    • Contact information for U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas can be found here or by going to our individual Country Specific Information pages.
    • To contact the Department of State in the U.S. call 1-888-407-4747 (from the U.S. or Canada) or (202) 501-4444 (from overseas).
    • Contact the local police to report the incident and get immediate help.  Request a copy of the police report.

Being the victim of a crime in a foreign country can be a devastating and traumatic experience.  While no one can undo the emotional trauma, physical injury, and/or financial loss you may have experienced, the ACS Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Belize stands ready to help.

A U.S. citizen who is the victim of crime in Belize should:

  1. Call the local police by dialing 911 to report the incident and obtain immediate help with safety concerns.
  2. Contact the consular section of the U.S. Embassy for assistance.  The ACS Unit can be reached during working hours at +501 822-4011.  (In emergency circumstances, an Embassy Duty Officer can be reached after hours and on weekends by calling +501 610-5030.)

Consular personnel are familiar with local government agencies and resources.  They can help American crime victims with issues such as:

  • Contacting family, friends, or employers;
  • Obtaining appropriate medical care;
  • Addressing emergency needs that arise as a result of the crime;
  • Obtaining general information about the local criminal justice process and information about prosecution;
  • Obtaining information about local resources to assist victims;
  • Obtaining information about crime victim assistance and compensation programs in the U.S.;
  • Obtaining a list of local attorneys; and
  • Replacing a stolen passport, usually within one working day.

Consular officials cannot, however, investigate crimes, provide legal advice or represent you in court, serve as official interpreters or translators, or pay legal, medical, or other fees for you.

Belize is rated high for crime in our annual Overseas Security Advisory Council report.  Additionally, a lack of capacity, resources, and training impedes the ability of the police to effectively investigate crime and apprehend serious offenders.  As a result, the majority of crimes remain unresolved and unprosecuted.  It is important to understand these truths when building expectations of justice from the Belizean judicial system.

We encourage all Americans who have been victims of crime while in Belize to report the crime to the police in the location where the crime occurred as soon as possible.