Two dead, three injured in shooting incidents – Violent Christmas in Curacao

POSTED: 12/30/13 12:39 AM

WILLEMSTAD – It was not exactly a peaceful Christmas in Curacao. Two people were shot to death, among them a 15-year old boy, and three people were injured in shooting incidents. “It’s like swimming against the tide,” Justice Minister Nelson Navarro told the Antilliaans Dagblad.

On Christmas Day, 15-year old Steven Rachid Jesus Hersilia was murdered in Gato. Police arrested a 37-year old neighbor as a suspect. The neighbors got into a heated argument after the dog of one family had bitten the pig of the neighbors to death. The boy died in the shooting that erupted. In the evening, the car of one of the neighbors involved in the shooting was set on fire. The 37-year old suspect reported voluntarily to the police station in Rio Canario.

On Christmas Eve, 29-year old Orlando Rodolfo Martina was shot to death near Berg Altena. His body was discovered in front of a mini market. Near a bus stop in the vicinity police found two wounded men, aged 26 and 34. They were taken to hospital. Investigators found a large number of cartridges at the site of the shooting.

In Kanga, a 21-year old sustained injuries after an acquaintance fired shots at him in a drive-by shooting. At the site of this shooting investigators found seven cartridges. The victim was hospitalized for treatment.

Minister Navarro expressed his concerns about the violence. He is already involved in talks with the Detective collaboration Team RST, customs and the coastguard to organize a large-scale program against the trade in weapons. “There are too many weapons in circulation and it seems that this situation is only becoming worse. Where are they coming from?” the minister told the Antilliaans Dagblad.

Navarro referred to the subculture among youngsters. “They do not fight anymore but they immediately grab a weapon. We have seen this development coming. We have been neglecting the youth for the past thirty years. We have reached a point where there is hardly any sense of values left.”

Even more worrisome is the misconception that has long prevailed. “We have long thought that we were dealing with a group of repeat offenders, but I have seen recent data and there are a lot of first offenders among them. The youngest that was sentenced was 13 years of age. He is now at the GOG (the government rehabilitation center – ed.). for God’s sake, where were the parents?”

Navarro said that parents have to take more responsibility for their children’s behavior, also where theft and burglary is concerned. “Parents must see that their children come home with certain goods. And people ought to stop buying stolen goods. We have to make sure that these crimes are no longer profitable.”

The minister wants a comprehensive approach and he will shortly engage in talks with the ministers of education and social development. “As the minister of justice, I am confronted with the end of the process. I cannot continue with the recruiting of police officers and the construction of prisons. All hands must be on deck at the beginning of the process. It is about time.”



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