Aruba: Protests against Chollers and the Drug Addition Problem in Aruba … Safety? … What about Natalee Holloway
Do people still think there is not a safety issue in Aruba? With the increase in drug addiction problems automatically comes an increase in crime. One does not occur without the other. The issue with the homeless, chollers and drug addicts has become so bad that Arubans have taken to the street in protest.
About 500 to 600 protesters showed their support to Michael Saladin, by protesting against the increased problems with drug addiction. The protest march was peaceful; the banners spoke or themselves; the general sentiment is that hardworking people should not suffer under the addiction of others. (Amigoe)
If anyone does not think that this increase in drug addiction and homelessness impacts safety on “One Happy Island”, think again.
In Aruba we have a lot of good things, but of course also some bad things. One of these are the problems of the homeless drug addicts, that we call ‘chollers’. These chollers beg, yell, fight and generally resist any help of the various local NA groups.
Yesterday, a woman was offered by one of those chollers to wash her car. She refused. When she came back the tires of her car were slashed. She called the authorities, a complaint was filed, etc. She also told her husband what happened. The husband, a local businessman whose stores have been held up a number of times, went to look for the choller who he thought slashed his wife’s car. (Arubagirl.ws)
Now imagine this issue of chollers, homeless and drug addicts with unsuspecting tourists. Tourists are told that Aruba is “One Happy Island” with no crime. What recourse would tourists have if confronted as Michael Saladin was? The answer is none. Not only would they not have access to a gun, knife, etc … the fact of the matter is as seen by what happened in the Natalee Holloway case is that the police would hush up the story for fear of hurting their tourism.
(Where is the Aruban outcry for Natalee and the impact on their tourism?)
One thing certainly comes to mind in that Aruban’s are protesting against this perceived problem with chollers and how in personally impacts them. Where was and still is their outrage to how the Natalee Holloway case was handled? Where is their protests to one of the single most bungled events in Aruba that has cost them dearly in tourism and their reputation around the world? Where is Aruba’s discontent? Why do they not want “Justice for Natalee” that would also provide an image change for Aruba?
So Aruba will protest if one of their own is impacted by a lesser form of the community, but they will not protest when a tourist like Natalee Holloway goes missing and they aftermath of event damages the Aruban economy? Nice. “One Happy Island” torward tourists.
Amigoe, March 29, 2007: Protest against drug addiction problem
ORANJESTAD – About 500 to 600 protesters showed their support to Michael Saladin, by protesting against the increased problems with drug addiction. The protest march was peaceful; the banners spoke or themselves; the general sentiment is that hardworking people should not suffer under the addiction of others.
The march started around 17:00 in the Wilhelminastraat to the location where La Linda was at the Caya Betico Croes. Michael Saladin is still under medical observation. His lawyer Ruiz said that the matter has struck Saladin so bad that he is bad off physically and mentally.
“Usually, he is a cheerful man, but now he is down and even depressed.” Ruiz indicated that the big turnout at the protest march and all the expressions of support, are a big support for him and his family.
Tomorrow is the eighth day of custody. Ruiz expects another session with the examining judge, who will decide whether to order further detention or not. Ruiz hopes that based on his health condition and the fact that he has small children, the judge will decide on not ordering further detention. “Besides, being a businessman and owning two businesses that are open 24 hours a day with 11 employees, Saladin has a big responsibility.” Ruiz says that there is no uncertainty about the fact that Saladin has aimed his weapon on the choller that threatened him. That’s not the case. The weapon was in his hand but he didn’t aim it at the choller.
The American consulate general in Curacao asked the police and the public prosecutor for information on Michael Saladin’s situation. This is standard procedure for the consulate, because Saladin is American citizen. Vice-consul Bill Furnish indicated that the consulate always make inquiries when something happens to an American citizen abroad. They do that so they can answer possible questions of family in the US. Due to the American privacy-act, he is not allowed to discuss details with the media. He did say though that he is very pleased with the cooperation of the police and public prosecutor here in Aruba. He has not yet contacted Saladin directly.