Nieuws - 16 mei 2013

Meanwhile in... Curaçao

In the news: On May 5 the island of Curaçao was shocked by the murder of a politician. Helmin Wiels, leader of government party Pueblo Soberano, was shot dead while having a beer with some friends on the beach.

Commenting on the news: Nathania Engelhardt, second year Applied Communication Science and Kevin Tromp, third year Animal Sciences, both from Curaçao
Nathania: 'The murder really came as shock for both me and my family. Not necessarily because of the person Herman Wiels, but rather because a politician was murdered. I wouldn't have imagined that something like this could happen on such a small island.'
Kevin: 'Helmin Wiels was a controversial politician, with pretty extreme ideas, when it comes to foreigners and the influence of the Netherlands. I didn't always agree with him, but I admired that he was an idealist. He was the only one not only talking about economics and money, but also about the development of Curaçao. It gets you thinking: why did he get shot? Was the murderer just a random person who didn't like Wiels? Or is there more to it; was the assassination organized by some opposing organization?'
Nathania: 'In the week after his death he would have sent a letter to the Parliament, with questions about a telecom company and the lottery of Curaçao supposedly being involved in corruption. Wiels was the one starting a big campaign against corruption, which still is a problem on Curaçao. I don't know what will happen now. Maybe things will change when the letter has been considered by the Parliament. Helmin Wiels himself said that if he wouldn't be around anymore, there will be other people to continue his work. '
Kevin: 'It can go two ways now. People could say: we don't take this anymore, and together take a stand against corruption. Or people could lose faith, and resist in a negative way, for example by turning to crime. I'm afraid that the whole situation will generate mistrust among the people of Curaçao. Especially when the perpetrator doesn't get caught, different groups might start accusing each other.'
Nathania: 'Eventually Helmin Wiels' plans for an independent Curaçao will be realized, I think. There a lot of successful examples in the Caribean. Curaçao is a small island, but we have a lot to offer. At the moment we're not ready yet, there needs to be a change in mentality, but it can be done. I think that in the end every country wants independency.'