• Panama Human Rights

Kiwi man brutally killed on holiday. Panamá is the mecca for this type of violence...

Updated: Nov 3, 2019

especially against tourists. Sadly, just five months ago in 2019 another tourist life was taken, shot dead at gunpoint whilst on his yacht.


The sister of a Kiwi man shot dead onboard his family boat in Panama said they often practised emergency drills but couldn’t have prepared for what happened. "They were very conscious of security but there was no way you could have been prepared or even envisage something like this happening," Alan Culverwell's sister Derryn Hughes told 1 NEWS.

Mrs Hughes said the families of Alan and his wife, also called Derryn, want the surviving family home as soon as possible and Alan’s body returned to them. She said that could take up to three weeks. The family’s boat has been impounded by police while they investigate the case. "Everybody who knows Alan and knows of his zest and love of life and love of his family knows that he would have taken that bullet for his family," Mrs Hughes said. Mrs Hughes said her family in New Zealand are proud of Derryn’s actions after being attacked with a machete. "We just strongly believe had she not taken the action that she took we might have been looking at a worse situation here." Mrs Hughes received a distress call from Derryn on Thursday night, while they were locked up in the cabin awaiting rescue from Panama authorities. "She was very brave, she made a call to New Zealand and through the help with Steve, a dear friend of theirs, he got a rescue underway for the family." Mrs Hughes told her Alan had been killed over the phone but she had to "fight that off so we could stay focused on her." "I knew she was injured and asked if her bleeding had stopped and she was unsure because they were in the dark and she didn’t want to turn any lights on." Alan’s family feel like something has been stolen from them following his death, Mrs Hughes said.

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