Published On: Tue, May 7th, 2013

Curacao Prime Minister: Hard action against perpetrators

Daniel HodgeWILLEMSTAD - If Helmin Wiels was the victim of a political assassination, then the authorities in Curaçao will take hard action against the people who are behind this. ,, We cannot accept and tolerate this. But our determination should not be limited to words. We must now tackle this," said outgoing Prime Minister Daniel Hodge in an exclusive interview with the Dutch Newspaper “De Telegraaf” that took place last night in Fort Amsterdam.

What are the latest developments in this murder case?

Hodge: 'There are currently no perpetrators arrested and the motive is not yet clear. As far as I know, the getaway car is also not found.  I don’t want to bother the police with continuous questions. "

Given the professional assassination in broad daylight by assassins might it seems that we are dealing with a settlement?

,, There are a lot of speculations. I cannot join them. It is not even clear whether we are dealing with a political assassination. There is a big difference between a political assassination and a murdered politician. Theoretically it would be a crime of passion-even, but it seems not. Probably it has to do with the statements of Mr. Wiels in the past period. "

Wiels presented himself lately especially as an advocate in the fight against corruption at the highest level on the island. According to many, this has to do with the murder.

,, You can certainly describe him as a strong advocate against white-collar crime. He wanted to completely eliminate it. He also made some peppered statements. If it is a political murder, then we apparently have to deal on the island with certain people who stop at nothing. Never before has a politician been murdered in Curacao. It cannot be that you as a politician is killed because of your judgments and ideologies. Then we are totally on the wrong track. We can never tolerate that. The people who are behind this murder should be dealt with hard.”

In recent weeks, Mr. Wiels was regularly threatened and he had security around him. Last Sunday on the beach at Marie Pampoen he did not. How can that be?

,, The last few months he was indeed threatened regularly. Therefore, he had six days a week security. But he wanted to preserve his privacy and refused on Sunday to walk around with security. Maybe he underestimated the threats. And he thought that nothing would happen to him among his people as a people’s person.  On the other hand, he was regularly warned, within his political party, that there was a real chance that an assassination attempt would take place on him and he told them that they had to take over for him if he was killed.”

To what extent were those threats investigated in the past few months?

,, Wiels was a politician with his own style. He was very popular, but then also very controversial. He did not mince words, made tough decisions. That was not always well received. He was threatened regularly. Only you do not know if you should take these threats seriously or not. The “sneks” (snackbars) on Curacao are scenes for emotional debate sometimes. Usually it is not serious, but now we are dealing with a tough homicide. "

What does this historic murder mean for the island of Curacao?

,, I can imagine that society is in shock. We have never experienced this type of situation before. This is a peaceful island. Due to the way of thinking or political ideologies such murders are not committed. We as a community are in a grieving process. There must be a meaning attached to this terrible act. The Curaçao community must learn from this. "

What do you say to the Dutch who live on Curaçao or go on vacation?

It's the first time that such a murder happens on the island. Netherlands is dealt with separately. It is certainly not that Dutch are now threatened. For that matter, I can reassure everyone that nothing is going on in Curaçao. There is absolutely no reason to panic. The last time the relationship between Mr. Wiels and the Netherlands had improved. Since late last year, he was much more moderate. With Minister Plasterk Kingdom Relations he had lately just a very good relationship. That morning, the Minister confirmed that again to me. "

There is now a caretaker government. Will the formation of a new government policy on Curaçao take more time?

,, The process to form a political government is already running. That is already in a fairly advanced stage. We cannot go on too long with a caretaker government. The people now have security and trust. It is best now to leave office, so there is stability for the next three to four years with a Permanent government.”

By Raymond Kerckhoffs

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