May 27, 2009


By our correspondent Christel van Bebber

ORANJESTAD/ THE HAGUE — In her letter to the Lower Chamber today, the State secretary of the Kingdom Relations, Ank Bijleveld-Schouten (CDA) stated that there would be an investigation into the government of Aruba. 

In her letter, she gave a number of her own observations on the judicial process on the island and is of the opinion that a ‘combination of signals are so alarming that there is reason to investigate in order to get a complete picture of the status of the government
 of Aruba’. 

On the base of the results of that investigation, the State secretary will view if further measures must be taken and on which level this should take place.

During a debate in the Upper Chamber last week, Bijleveld said she worries about the status of the government on Aruba. In the letter she forwarded to the Lower Chamber today, she gives a few observations from which she concluded to open an investigation. 

For example, the Public Prosecutor cannot sufficiently focus on the prosecution of offences. This is the actual task of the Public Prosecutor, but this comes off badly due to amongst others, understaffing. The National Criminal Investigation Bureau appears so overloaded by corruption investigations, that other cases are shelved, says the State secretary.

The Public Prosecutor in Oranjestad should have six public prosecutors, and there are only four. “Not because there are insufficient qualified candidates, but on account of a salary discussion”, according to Bijleveld’s letter to the Chamber. 

Furthermore, the boss of the Public Prosecutor, the Attorney General, is losing so much time on troublesome files and solving discussing with the Netherlands, that he barely has time to prosecute. 

“This fact, in combination with the in comparison large amount of corruption reports in the politics and the bureaucracy, worries me”, Bijleveld writes. “”After all, the adequate functioning of the Public Prosecutor is one of the pillars of the constitutional state”.

Communal Court

Another pillar, which worries the State secretary, is the legal authority, which she meanwhile told the minister-president Oduber. Bijleveld reminds the Chamber, that Aruba barely cooperated with the realization of the Communal Court of Justice. Eventually Aruba agreed with the majority of the enactment, which resulted in the realization of the Communal Court.

There is also understaffing in the prison. Bijleveld points out that the situation in the police cells and the prison has improved after the visitation of the European Committee regarding the prevention of torturing, and inhuman and degrading treatments of punishments (CPT). 

The physical circumstances have been dealt with, but she also observed that there are still insufficient qualified personnel and that the treatment of prisons leaves much to be desired. Her main point of concern in this area however remains the aliens’ detention, where not one point of improvement has been implemented since the CPT-visit.


Cherry said...

Great article. I do hope things will change for the people of Aruba. Horrible they live with that kind of corruption day to day.

Not only am I boycotting I am praying for Justice for Natalee.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't she the same person Richard had wrote just recently

Michelle said...

Yes, I believe so...

Anonymous said...

After 4 years, the corruptions and coverups have become the pattern and trademark of Aruba. The American people are all pushed into BoycottAruba mode, and they cancel all their vacation and wedding bookings to Aruba. From the hotel webcams, you can see the lobbies and bars are always almost empty, there is no sign of any American tourists there. Aruba's American based economy is dead, and its government will soon be overrun by the massive unemployed angry youngsters on the streets. The Dutch government wants to see the bloodless implosion of the corrupt Aruban government. It's the only best way to reform Aruba. The ArubanBoycott grassroots movement have done their job well.

Anonymous said...

Fate sealed, Aruba readies for a government changeover.

Anonymous said...

Aruban hotels lose their sanities as the boycotting tightens. The management will clean the guest rooms only twice a week to save labor costs.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they do laying off all the janitors. The managers and staff do the room cleaning themselves to keep their jobs. Only a few rooms are occupied by Aruba supporters.

Anonymous said...

Prime Minister Nel Oduber of Aruba is angry at a Dutch proposal that the calibre of governance on the Caribbean island should be subject to an inquiry. Formerly a Dutch colony, Aruba is an autonomous region of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Mr Oduber says: "The Netherlands distrusts us and that affects relations in a negative way".

Kingdom Relations Minister Ank Bijleveld argues there are worrying signs of corruption and misgovernment on Aruba. The police and justice authorities are singled out as potential problems and the Aruban parliament is also cause for concern. It is said that members' questions are often left unanswered and that there is sometimes no debate on political issues.

Mr Oduber says the allegations are the result of unsubstantiated rumours. The criticism comes at a sensitive time as Aruba goes to the polls in September. The prime minister is worried that the opposition will be able to make political capital out of an inquiry.

There is no term limit in Aruba for Prime Minister position. Oduber's poll rating is below 30 points. His MEP political party members are rigging up votes in September. But the Dutch government encourages the young Aruban voters to vote against Oduber and his MEP party.

Anonymous said...

Natalee has lost 4 years. Boycott Aruba is the only way we can continue helping Justice For Natalee.