Published On: Fri, Oct 3rd, 2014

Unrest in Aruba brings out riot police

protestORANJESTAD, Aruba -- Riot police were called out in Aruba in a confrontation with thousands of residents who took to the streets in protest against a 15% increase in electricity rates.

The demonstrators called on the government to rescind the increase, one day after local legislators in a record six-minute session voted to increase their own salaries and secondary benefits.

The protestors refused to go home after acting prime minister, Mike de Mesa, refused to accept a petition that the demonstrators attempted to hand to him outside the government building.

At that point, minister of justice, Arthur Dowers, called in the riot police, who appeared to use excessive force against the largely peaceful crowd.

Tico Croes, a reporter with Radio Top FM was reportedly beaten and suffered a broken rib.

Prime Minister Mike Eman is facing some serious challenges in relation to his handling of the Aruba economy, which has doubled the national debt to more than 75% of GDP.

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