The tiny Pacific island of Yap, home to just 11,000 people, was best known for its snorkeling and wreck-filled dives before the state’s acting attorney general Rachelle Bergeron was gunned down on Monday.
Located 4,500 miles west of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean, the sleepy island-state is part of the Federated States of Micronesia and is described as one of the most remote and peaceful places on earth.
But that peace was shattered this week when Bergeron, a former Big Apple human rights lawyer, was gunned down outside her home — her dog also shot dead, according to officials.
Yap and neighboring Palau have been described as some of the best diving locations in the world and tourists make the pilgrimage for the islands’ reefs, crystal-clear waters and diverse sea life.
Still, visitors don’t flock to Yap — the government recorded just 4,000 annual visitors between 2010 and 2017, the Japan Times reported last year.
Micronesia is made of 607 islands — of which just 65 are inhabited.
Micronesia’s per capita GDP is $3,015.23, and around 17 percent of households on the island of Yap live below the basic-needs poverty line, according to UNICEF.
The nation’s top export is frozen fish fillets, which it sells to Thailand, Japan, China and South Korea.
Micronesia was captured by Japan during World War I and remained under Japanese control until it became a US territory in 1944 during World War II.
It became a sovereign state when the US granted it independence in 1986, but the US is still wholly responsible for its security.
As part of the enduring relationship between the two nations, US citizens are able to work in live in Micronesia without a visa — a reciprocal deal for citizens of the island who want to work in the US.
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