Editorial: Time for America to get tough with Aruba; Parents simply won’t risk their kids’ victimization for a bargain.
It is not very often when an editorial in a news paper espouses much of the same message almost word for word as a post on Scared Monkeys. However, the following editorial comes very close. In some instances I had to do a double take to make sure it was not actually us who contributed the piece.
What is interesting is that in many respects this has become the feeling of the silent majority of the United States. People who make their voice heard with their wallets rather than there mouths or fingers. In some cases, people use both.
Aruba knows the “Natalee Holloway” tourism costs. For better or worse, in the United States, “Aruba” has become a poster child for teen travel safety abroad. What outcome is best now?
Americans should “kick butt and take names.” Few Americans doubt Aruban complicity in luring youthful Natalee away with drinks, drugs and deception. Fewer still doubt Aruban law enforcement’s ineptitude — and complicity. Ineptitude or callous indifference allowed the perpetrators to abduct, rape and murder with impunity. To avoid prosecution, conspirators disposed of Natalee. Aruban judges shielded them, even as they acted.
We echoed this same sentiment in Teen Travel Examined in the Wake of the Natalee Holloway Disappearance. Aruba has become the face of (un)safe Travel .
Like it or not, Aruba has become the face of the safety issues that face teens and college students in America. It is no small accomplishment or a badge of honor to actually be referenced in the same sentence as 9-11 when it comes to altering the way one travels.
Do those in Aruba, the travel, hotel and tourism associations and the government officials really not understand the impact of how they have handled the Natalee Holloway investigation? It was one thing for a tourist to go missing in Aruba, it was quite a different event to see how the investigation was botched, intentionally or not.
In one of the most strongly worded and tightly scripted editorials in some time, the writer hits a home run with the following comments which describes perfectly why Aruba faces a tourism disaster.
Callous indifference to human life, decency, judicial and law enforcement cronyism, and sordid support of rapists and murderers will cost the island visits from families with female adolescents, no matter how cheap. Parents simply won’t risk their kids’ victimization for a bargain. Americans remain appalled that dumping young girls on the beach passes for acceptable behavior in Aruba.
Perhaps advertising can sweep Aruba’s dirty little problem under the rug. However, Beth Twitty’s traveling the country with her personal story of grief caused by “travel to places like Aruba” will play until the end of time. What’s Aruba’s cost?
For those that deem what is happening to the Aruban tourism as unfair, there is an answer to that was well.
Unfair? It was unfair for young men to take Natalee’s life, but they did. They fed her booze — and what else more, we’ll never know. Then they dumped her — by their sworn accounts. Someone should pay now; it’s not fair.
If Natalee’s perpetrators aren’t responsible, who is? For Americans, the base answer: those accountable for shielding those responsible. Who is that?