April 24, 2006


Editorial: Natalee’s case and the Aruban people


I have said on many occasions that in Aruba, the people many times are not taken duly into account by their authorities and things that affect them directly - their well-being, the solidity of their economy, their good name as a hospitable people - have all been pushed into a corner and buried in such a manner that it’s not able to be discovered. This is not done for their defense, but to abide by rules that are good for nothing because they maintain the ignorance as to what’s going on.

At DIARIO, many years back, we took the decision not to hide anything from the people, not keep them in a box to then throw them in a well of forgetfulness. All we find out, we pass it on directly to the people, so that they are aware of everything that’s going on in their island. Natalee’s case is no exception, but a confirmation that we are not going to keep anything secret and whatever falls into our hands, we pass it on in turn to the people, so that they too have the latest news, so that they can judge what has happened in the case.

Yesterday, we published the transcript of a conversation that police recorded in a police car that was bringing the three suspects (Joran, Deepak and Satish) from KIA to the Court Building, in Dutch and in Papiamento. The document is very revealing of three suspects’ character, their way of speaking, their way of formulating sentences and their violence.

From the transcript, we know from Joran’s mouth that his father is the one who arranged for lawyers for the Kalpoes; from Deepak we heard that he warned Joran that if they find the girl’s body or any of her remains, Joran is going to be locked up 15 years; from Joran we heard that he threatened that if the Kalpoe brothers spoke with the police, he would tell the latter that Satish hit a girl with a car; all in all, accusations and counter-accusations, but all based on a categorical knowledge that all three had of what happened with Natalee. Of this, there is no doubt. This came out clearly in the audio-tape recording transcript.

Joran’s attorney is flapping his gums in the U.S. as if he were a great messiah who knows all; one of his colleagues accused me of leaking the document, despite the fact that it was the day before yesterday that we found it in our mailbox, after all American channels already had it and were even passing it on the air piece by piece; Tacopina paints Joran as an angel with wings of purity; that he’s a good student; that he has a scholarship; finally, all that he’s missing to fly up to heaven are wings of snow. However, evidence compiled by DIARIO paints Joran in a completely different light; a violent youth; abusive with younger kids at his school (and in his home!); an out of control youth who inappropriately involves himself with others’ money; a youth with no manners in his manner of speaking; a criminal instinct that he exhibited in the transcripts when in moments of rage he wanted to break faces and even went as far as threatening to kill the Kalpoe brothers; in the end, a completely different portrait than that Tacopina speaks of.

That I revealed Geoffrey’s name? Yes, because this is nothing rare. At no time did I accuse the kid of committing any infraction against the law; what our reporters did was to look for his identity for us to know who we are talking about. Many people asked me of my opinion of him, if he could be involved in the case. My answer was negative, because I do not believe that he is directly involved in Natalee’s disappearance. What I do believe is that he could have told police or the prosecutor that he saw such and such a thing, or heard such and such a thing, or has a video taken on the days of Natalee’s disappearance which could have revealing images on it. This I could believe could be possible, but not that he is a participant in the disappearance itself. I could be completely mistaken, but this is what I think.

I am not taking my eyes off the three suspects, Joran, Deepak and Satish, because they demonstrated in the recording that they are completely aware of what happened to the girl.

Furthermore, one accused the other (between Joran and the Kalpoe brothers) of a 15 year penalty (Deepak against Joran) if the girl is found, and hitting a girl with a car (Joran against Satish).

Our duty as a media outlet is to stay on top of all the developments surrounding the case and to pass on any information that we find to the people, because in our criteria, they have a right to all information of what happened on their island. That the police or the prosecutor do not want to give out any information, that is their right, but this does not count to DIARIO!

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