Victim Curacao airport shooting was a gang member

POSTED: 07/21/14 1:57 PM

WILLEMSTAD – Curacao is still reeling from the shooting at Hato airport whereby two men were killed while six bystanders sustained injuries. The police have identified one of the victims as 35-year-old Erwin Adriano Juliano, a prominent member of the Buena Vista City Gang. The second victim is 22-year-old Shantley Percival Arnhem, a cousin of Juliano.

This gang has been at war with the infamous No Limit Soldiers gang for years. In August 2012, Juliano’s brother Destry was shot to death. Dutch media suggest a link between the recent killings and the murder on May 22 of Gwenette Martha, a Curacao-born gangster who lived in Amsterdam.

There is also a theory that Juliano was already the target of an execution-plan in the Netherlands and that Elvis Kuwas, a suspect in the Helmin Wiels-assassination, was to do the job. Kuwas, nicknamed Monster, maintains close ties with the No Limit Soldiers gang. The prosecutor’s office has identified him as the man who pulled the trigger on May 5 of last year and killed Pueblo Soberano leader Helmin Wiels.

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams was at the airport at the time of the shooting, though she did not witness it. She was in the VIP-lounge awaiting transfer to Aruba where she went to support Mike Eman’s hunger strike.

Elisa Koek reports on Caribisch Netwerk that this year at least ten people became the victim of crime-related killings.

Hato was the stage of great terror on Tuesday night, Koek reports. “The cheerfully colored airport changed into a war zone with screaming people, blaring ambulances and countless cartridges on the ground, after a meticulously planned liquidation had taken place with automatic weapons.”

A 26-year-old security officer told Koek that the images of the shooting would go global. “We are not able to prevent these things and that makes me scared. The regular police and the security are powerless against these liquidations.”

In early March, pedestrians found two completely charred bodies in the bushes near Baja Beach. The two men were facedown with their hands tied behind their backs.

Two weeks later two bodies were discovered between the Kunuku Aqua Resort and Bullenbaai. They were a 23-year-old woman and a 17-year-old boy. A day later, someone murdered DJ Renzo Soleano in his garden. He happened to live on the street where the parents of the dead woman live as well.

Justice Minister Nelson Navarro did two things in the wake of the shooting. First he said that security at the airport is not his responsibility, because the airport is a private enterprise with its own airport police. Secondly, he noted that the murders are probably drugs-related. Earlier, the minister said that Curacao has to reckon with more liquidation.

To combat criminality, Curacao called in assistance from the Netherlands in March. A high-ranking Dutch police officer was dispatched to support the chief commissioner. The police are reportedly working on a “concrete approach” towards criminality.

A problem for the island is Curacao’s popularity as a transshipment point for South American drugs gangs. The Justice Ministry noted this already in a report in 2007: “Cocaine and heroin are transported to Curacao from villages along the Venezuelan coast in go fasts and cargo barges that are used to transport fish and fruit. From Curacao the drugs go by air to Europe.”

The American State Department concluded in a 2012-report that Curacao does not do enough to combat drugs-criminality. The Americans quoted “a general lack of leadership” as one of the root causes of this situation.

Amigoe reported that among the bystanders that sustained injuries is Chloe Jansen, a finalist in the 2014 Miss Universe Curacao pageant. She was reportedly hit by a bullet in her chest.

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