Two Philadelphia city councilmen , Juan Ramos and Jack Kelly, planned to introduce a resolution asking their colleagues to endorse the boycott called earlier this week by Governor Bob Riley of Alabama.
A call for tourists to boycott Aruba over the Caribbean island’s handling of the Natalee Holloway disappearance may spread to Philadelphia.
The missing teen’s family have said the Aruban authorities mishandled the investigation by not taking it seriously in the days after the disappearance, not pursuing promising leads and ignoring potentially incriminating statements from suspects.
The Aruban Prime Minister has responded to talk of a boycott as not fair to punish an island that is so heavily dependent upon tourism.
Aruban Prime Minister Nelson Oduber has said investigators have done their best to solve the mystery and that it is not fair to punish the island, which is heavily dependent on tourism.
Rather interesting words coming from the Aruban Prime Minister that “investigators had done their best to solve the mystery” of the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. That is not what Nelson Oduber and the then Aruban spokes person Ruben Trapenberg back in late August when the PM met with Beth Twitty. As per the AP; Aruba leader: Mistakes made in Holloway case.
ORANJESTAD, Aruba – Aruba’s prime minister believes that authorities made mistakes at the start of the investigation of the Natalee Holloway case, a government spokesman said Monday.
She said the prime minister also told her that Aruba needs to review the first stages of the investigation to find out “who let this go wrong.”
Oduber told reporters over the weekend that during the meeting he assured the Alabama woman that investigators would not stop looking for answers about the fate of her 18-year-old daughter.
Government spokesman Ruben Trapenberg said Monday the prime minister had expressed concerns about the initial investigation, though he used more cautious language.
“The prime minister agreed that in the beginning the case could have been better handled,” Trapenberg said. “He didn’t say it had been ‘botched.”‘
Video of Beth Twitty with NBC Today Show
Also from CBS News following the release of Joran Van der Sloot from jail and his departure from Aruba comes the following from the PM.
Prime Minister Nelson Oduber, who has previously said Aruban authorities made mistakes in the early part of the Holloway investigation, added that he could appreciate the “dismay” of the missing teen’s mother.
“But, the case is not concluded. And we will continue to demand that the search for answers into what happened to Natalee will not cease,” Oduber said in a statement released Monday.
So which story is it that the Holloway and Twitty families are supposed to believe? The one that mistakes were made in the beginning of the investigation that ultimately destroyed the investigation process or the one where they investigators did their best? Although the PM is careful not to use the term “botched” there is no way he every stated initially to the family that the investigators did their best. It would be hard to imagine how anyone could look at the initial investigation and say the Aruban investigators did their best.
Now Aruba faces individuals calling for a boycott. The PM’s response is that calls for such a boycott are irresponsible.
“This is a preposterous and irresponsible act,” Oduber said Tuesday night after attending a closed session with members of Parliament to discuss the boycott.
Many of those calling for the boycott wonder why the PM does not call much of what went on in the Natalee Holloway investigation “irresponsible” as well.
The unofficial boycott may be spreading. Two city councilmen in Philadelphia plan to introduce a bill suggesting a travel ban for residents of that city, The Associated Press reported Thursday. Also, Jefferson County commissioners said they plan to pass a boycott resolution during Tuesday’s meeting.
“We’re asking our congressional leaders to put some pressure on the state department to boycott travel to Aruba,” said Commissioner Gary White. “The investigation has not been handled properly. She is one of us, a member of our community.”
The key word here is “unofficial”. It is very short-sided on the part of Aruban officials to get gleeful over the fact that the State Department does not officially sanction a boycott. This is not an embargo. Individuals, state and local governments have the right to act independently of the Federal government and call for or support a boycott. It is a mistake to think that one will not occur just because the State Department does not back it. Individual dissent and protest is the cornerstone of American democracy.