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June 24, 2005

UN CRISIS FUERA DI PROPORCION! /A Crisis Out of Proportion!

Posted in: Natalee Holloway

The following was an editorial from the Aruban newspaper, Diario, earlier this week by Jossy M. Mansur that we thought all should see and read.

Sin cu nos tabata kier ni a buske, Aruba a haya su mes den un luz basta negativo durante e ultimo dos simannan, pa motibo di un caso cu ta sigui mantene nos atencion claba riba dje.

E tin e apariencia di no ta bayendo ningun caminda, cu el a stanca, cu e speranza di haya Natalee cu bida ta menguando. Hopi hende, tanto local como stranhero, a buske tur caminda sin exito. …

(For the rest of the editorial in Papiamentu)

English translation, thank you Aruba girl & iquitos.

Without us looking for or wanting it, Aruba found itself in a fairly negative light during the last two weeks, because of a case that keeps our attention nailed on it. It has the appearance of not going anywhere, that it is stuck, that the hope of finding Natalee alive is fading. Many peple, both locals and foreigners, looked for her everywhere without success. Sophisticated equipment and expert dogs were used in localizing buried bodies without any positive results. The girl keeps being missed; she vanished without leaving any trace, creating a mystery that is going on for a long time.

Where else is left for us to look for her? Could she be hidden in some house, protected by some friends or acquaintances, or is she being held against her will by whatever irregular group? Could she have reached the U.S? It doesn’t matter if she left her passport behind, because Americans can leave Aruba with any identification such as driver’s license, Social Security card, or birth certificate. Could she be in Venezuela or Colombia? It’s improbable, but always that possibility keeps on existing. With a fast launch you could reach the closest coast of Falcon in half an hour. And if she is dead, why can’t any trace of her remains be found?

That this case can affect tourism? Of course, but that’s not our primary preoccupation. What has us worried is Natalee herself.Whatever fall in tourism we can recover from, but Natalee is irreplaceable! It’s the human factor that occupies our minds and hearts, because the material part, i.e. the tourism, we can fix. It’s the pain of her family that we share; it’s the worry of the parents that captured our compassion.

I hold the opinion that no matter how many paint Aruba black in the U.S., there will always be others that defend our island because they know and are aware that Aruba still is one of the safest places in the world. It’s not our beauty of our beaches alone that calls the attention of our tourists that visit our island repeatedly and in great numbers, it’s the human quality of our people that captured their hearts. It’s the treatment that they receive from our people that reflect in their feelings, that’s why they are now rewarding us with kind words, with their defense of our island, with their public protests against those who without knowing our island or our people are so eager to voice negative opinions without the benefit of reality.

Because Aruba is not a place where crime has a high incident, a case like this will have so much attention in other countries. It is an isolated incident, perpetrated by (an) element(s) that are foreign to our culture, to our peaceful disposition, to our broad, open and decent character as a People. It is also a case that is surrounded in clouds of mystery that every time become more dense, less penetrable by even the most expert eyes in the police and investigative world. This is a disappearance that has no concrete evidence, something sold on which the Police can work. Aside from that, it is my understanding that the detainees are not saying anything additional [to their story], just simply that they left Natalee (with or without Joran) at the area somewhat north of the Marriott hotel. This story they are repeating with insistence, although there are also various discrepancies in their statements.

Referring to the efficiency of our police force, let no one fool themselves: it is one of the best in our region, and definitely one that we can say with conviction of being very professional. Those of us who have followed their activities closely in the last 25 years can say that they are a police force with a high integrity, and that discards any possibility of a cover-up or guilt based on friendship with whatever family of any detainee. In my book of all the crime that took place on our island during the last 25 years, the confident activities of the Aruba police force are written in gold letters!

The case of Natalee put us in a great emotional crisis, and others that do not know our island and don’t know how our People reasons, converted it into a public relations crisis out of all proportion. In Aruba there are no criminals that walk around thinking up evil with every step, we don’t have the sociopaths that get their hands on a revolver and start shooting like crazy on innocent people; Aruba is a quiet island, full of humanism and consideration to the well-being of others. That’s why, in the name of all that is fair, it is time for this negative image that has been voluntary or involuntary created of our island by some media that doesn’t even know where Aruba is, to be corrected. That’s also why some of us accepted to give declarations to one or the other U.S. channel, not to find fame or create an image that will disappear together with the return of those media outlets, but to halt any damage that has been caused by this mystery.

There is nothing left for me to say that I hope that Natalee is alive and that she will find the road back to her home, her family and her friends in Birmingham, city that I know we, and that the People of Alabama, who in my personal experience in that State, are equal to us in greatness of hearts and sense of compassion. As a matter of fact, I studied and graduated in Mobile, Alabama and can speak with certain authority on the human quality of its People. Let us not come to the wrong conclusions about this because a channel without importance or national coverage, got it in its head to call for a boycott that will not be heard or followed by the rest of the American public, and that is also not in line with the American concept of ‘fair play’.

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