It is billed as One Happy and Safe Island yet lately Aruba has resembled nothing more than a typical inner city with the crimes being committed. Drug arrests, murders, robberies and an abundance of traffic deaths one has to wonder what is going on in this tiny Caribbean Island. For many years Aruba prided itself on not being this way. Crimes existed on other islands. No longer. Places where people vacation are not supposed to be like inner cities. It is supposed to be a vacation.The travel agents may want to add an addendum to their brochures to warn tourists.
Maybe this is partially because the Aruban police consistently bring a knife to a gun fight, metaphorically speaking. Is it a standard practice to continually not arrest criminals due to a lack of evidence? There seems to be a pattern. It was not just Joran Van der Sloot who was released for lack of evidence in the case of missing Natalee Holloway. Interestingly enough, criminals always find a way to stay in trouble with the law.
… chief of police Peter de Witte didn’t want to say yet whether the police had indeed run up against a criminal network during a routine action.
The in Colombia born Hernan Tobias Quiñonez Villareal, popular as ‘El Flaco’, was guilty of several drug- and violent crimes. He has been arrested before, but not convicted due to lack of evidence.
Suspect in the shooting tragedy still on the run (Amigoe: 4/28/2008)
Police officers carrying off the body of the 38-years old marksman ‘El Flaco’.
ORANJESTAD – The third suspect in the shooting tragedy, when a 38-year old man lost his life last Saturday morning, is still on the run. The police arrested four persons during a house search; three of them are meanwhile released. The police do not rule out more arrests in this case, whereby the police have probably run up against a huge network of drug dealers.
Yesterday during a press conference, chief of police Peter de Witte didn’t want to say yet whether the police had indeed run up against a criminal network during a routine action. He did say though that the man that was shot to death last Saturday was an ‘old friend’ of the police. The in Colombia born Hernan Tobias Quiñonez Villareal, popular as ‘El Flaco’, was guilty of several drug- and violent crimes. He has been arrested before, but not convicted due to lack of evidence. He was deported after this case, and was most probably back on the island as an illegal person. He was driving with two other persons on the Caya Betico Croes last Saturday, when the police signaled them to stop near Hooiberg. When they refused to do so, the police forced them by cornering their car. The three suspects fled and hid behind a house. El Flaco pulled a heavy caliber gun and fired on the police officers and injured the left arm of one of them. Both police officers fired back and killed El Flaco. His gun was found next to his body.
We don’t know whether the other two suspects have also fired at the police officers. They fled towards the very thickly wooded Hooiberg. One was arrested real soon. The police didn’t release the identity of the two men, of which one is still on the run. It is not sure whether the police assume that this fugitive is still in Aruba. Justice raided two housed after the shooting tragedy and arrested four men and found drugs. Three of the four arrestees are already released. “We do not rule out that more arrests will follow”, said De Witte yesterday. After interrogations, the four passengers of a car that was stopped near Piedra Plat on Saturday morning seemed to have nothing to do with the shooting tragedy.
This shooting incident so shortly after the incident in December, made the police officers realize that it can also happen to either one of them. The officer that was injured is doing reasonably well. De Witte explains that after the incident in December, the police corps has taken the criticism to increase the safety of the officers, very seriously. “Both colleagues were wearing their bullet free jacket last Saturday. But also the community has a responsibility. As a society, we must not think that this is normal. The corps has made the possession, dealing, and using of firearms one of their priorities, but the society is also responsible.”
He urges people to report illegal firearms and/or keepers of these via the anonymous tip-line 1141.