There is this notion in Curaçao where we believe that we live on a corrupt-free island paradise. Don’t get me wrong, we know that corruption exists, but we choose to believe that things aren’t that bad.
“Are we not curious to know how deep corruption runs on this tiny rock?”
There is this notion in Curaçao where we believe that we live on a corrupt-free paradise. Don’t get me wrong, we know that corruption exists, but we choose to believe that things aren’t that bad. Look at Surinam for instance, at least we don’t have a president who is a former dictator and has a 30-year resume that reads like an Ira Levin novel.
President Bouterse has been accused of drug trafficking, murder, having ties to terrorist groups in the Middle East to name a few. He faces a number of indictments on numerous charges by Europol, the U.S. and Dutch governments. I recently read an article that shook me awake. It stated that Curaçao was corrupt to the bone. Although the tone of the piece was harsh and I can hardly consider it a serious editorial, there were some parts in it that hit home. For too long we have accepted and normalized the laissez-faire capitalism that has filled the pockets of a few at the taxpayer’s expense. We have no access to our own beaches, we provide investors with tax-free tourism facilitating them to make even greater profits and we are a haven for gambling and bookmaking, something our government sees little return on.
Caption:Former Surinam dictator Desi Bouterse (R) speaks 26 November 2007 during a meeting of his National Democratic Party (NDP) in Paramaribo. Bouterse and 24 others will stand trial in court martial 30 November 2007 for the 1982 killings of 15 political rivals. Bouterse, who ruled the former Dutch colony in the 1980s, is the main suspect in the shootings of the 15 lawyers, journalists and army men, all government critics who were rounded up, tortured and shot 08 December 1982. AFP PHOTO / ED OUDENAARDEN – netherlands out – belgium out – (Photo credit should read ED OUDENAARDEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Meanwhile our crime rate is at an all time high. Our political leader, Helmin Wiels was murdered last year, an incident that has blackened our history. To make matters worse, the prime suspects in ordering the hit are Curaçao’s former Minister of Finance and his brother, the island’s lottery king. Although the evidence points in their direction it is for now circumstantial so both suspects went home. Is this not the epitome of corruption?
Are we not curious to know how deep the levels of corruption run on this tiny rock or will we remain apathetic? What else is out there?