April 26, 2006

INTERESTING FACTS FROM U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT ON ARUBA



Corruption


During 2005, the NA identified links from prominent traffickers in the region to law enforcement officials, which prompted additional investigations. The NA has been quick to address these issues through criminal investigations, internal investigations, new hiring practices, and continued monitoring of law enforcement officials that hold sensitive positions.


The judiciary system has close ties with the Dutch legal system including extensive seconding of Dutch prosecutors and judges to fill positions for which there are no qualified candidates among the small Antillean and Aruban populations.


Aruba is a transshipment point for heroin, and to a lesser extent cocaine, moving north, mainly from Colombia, to the U.S. and secondarily to Europe. Drugs move north via cruise ships and the multiple daily flights to the U.S. and Europe. U.S. agencies reported more than 100 kilograms of heroin seized in the U.S. that had originated in Aruba.


Drugs entering the U.S. from Aruba were not in sufficient an amount to have a significant effect on the U.S. As a result of the successes in Curacao during 2005, traffickers looked for other transit points in the region which included Aruba.


While Aruba enjoys a low crime rate, (because most crimes are not reported, considered "suicides", or "runaways"...hello???) reporting during 2005 indicates that some prominent drug traffickers are established on the island. Additionally, Arubans worry about the easy availability of inexpensive drugs.


The most visible evidence of a drug abuse problem may be the homeless addicts, called "chollars" who number about 300 and whose photographs routinely appear in publications to increase public awareness to drug abuse and to stem an increase in crime. Drug abuse in Aruba remains a cause for concern.



1 comment:

dennisintn said...

i wonder if this drug trafficing is the reason some americans are so upset with the boycott of aruba. it's raising their visibility by being one of fewer number of travelers to and from the island which makes them more vulnerable to random searches.
dennisintn