|By Amy Martin on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 10:20 am:|
Definately don't want to affect tourism, but...we're heading down at the beginning of September, and my guy (a Dutchie who is currently in The Netherlands on business) tells me he just heard on the news over there that Bonaire has just had a murder and that the police are extremely corrupt (of course, you have much of the same going on everywhere these days!!). Anybody feel comfortable elaborating on that? What's going on?
|By Lorraine Meadows on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 12:29 pm:|
We have never had a problem with crime
|By Linda Richter - NetTech on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 1:21 pm:|
The double murder victims were discovered this past Sunday morning at their home. The victims were long-time residents of Bonaire, Alfons Pleumeekers, a 60 year old businessman, and his 52 year old wife, Maria del Carmen Lopez. No motives or suspects have been made public. (We have been told that it would be against the law for the police or prosecutor to release such information until the investigation is complete.) Local speculation is that it was personal.
|By michael gaynor on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 3:33 pm:|
First of all Amy, let me answer you before addressing Linda's comments. No, I don't feel comfortable elaborating about the homicide. I knew Fons well and will miss him and his contributions to the Bonairean community. I will say thank you to Lorraine for her comments. Her statements are based on personal experience and what she states holds true for our visitors and residents alike.
|By lonnie hoover on Saturday, June 24, 2000 - 12:18 pm:|
Crime is a serious and growing problem on Bonaire . I don't believe the local police are corrupt but inexperienced, poorly trained and generally unconcerned when it comes to foreign travelers, especially Americans. The police are far more interested in how pretty they look in their uniform and ridding around in a car or truck with a blue light on top. The whole problem with the growing crime problem on Bonaire is that the good and solid citizens of the Country are largely apathetic. The idea that "if it dosen't affect me then it is not a problem" is the general view by both Bonarians and many people who contribute to this news link when the subject of local crime is raised.. Case in point, Lorraine; I enjoy your reports and contributions very much, however your last comments about crime on Bonaire being no big deal because you use common sense precautions is just short sighted and ill-informed. I've been comming to Bonaire frequently for 16 years and I can assure you that crime is very real, very serious, and a growing problem. Fortunately I have never been the victim of serious or violent crime but I personally know of several people who have been robbed at gun point and/or had their rooms burglarized (sometimes while they are sleeping).. These poor people get little or no support from the local authorities. Crime on Bonaire is a lot like the piss-poor service ALM offers. Everyone knows of horror stories tourists have suffered at the hands of ALM for years but no one in authority on Bonaire seems to give a tinkers damn. Certainly no one in authority has ever steped forward to do anything about it. The crime problem gets a similar lack of care or attention. Everyone on Bonaire, especially business people and officials, are keenly aware of the serious and growing crime problem, but as long as it is only happening to American tourists few if any are willing to demand swift and sure apprehenson and punishment. I hope official Bonaire will wake up and smell the roses before they allow this problem to kill the goose that laid the golden egg (eg. tourism) Believe it or not people are very concerned and the problem will only get worse unless or until the people of Bonaire rise up and DEMAND results from their government. Bonaire is on a slippery slope. Let's atleast recognize the problem and pleaes, any further contributors, don't be so naive as to suggest that all you have to do to be safe on
|By Tony Paugoulatos on Saturday, June 24, 2000 - 1:25 pm:|
Lonnie.You are right on target.We have been regular travelers to Bonaire three times a year for 10 years now and have been victims of theft on Bonaire twice now, both times in the past year. We're not blind to the crime on Bonaire and have always taken precautions so as not to be a victim of crime while there, however it seems to me that the thieves are getting alittle more brave and daring than in the past. During our last trip I woke up at 5:15 am to a barking dog only to surprise three dark skinned men going through my kids bedroom while they were asleep in their beds. I chased them out of my house and delighted in the fact that they left their shoes behind and ran barefooted away over rock and coral to get away. I then thanked my guardian angels that they didn't confront me with a gun or knife. I have to say that the experience put a damper on the rest of our vacation. We did call the police and they took the "evidence" and our report and that was the end of that. We jokingly figured that the three men probably got their shoes back that day! We all know that crime can happen anywhere, anytime, and we will continue our trips to Bonaire because we love the Island. However, I now look at faces on the streets of Bonaire to see if I recognize the guys I chased out of my house. It's sad that it's got to this point since vacation time is time for relaxing instead of being on constant alert against thievery or even worse.
|By Brigitte Kley on Saturday, June 24, 2000 - 3:10 pm:|
The people of Bonaire (born or not born Bonaireans) see very well that we have a big problem here. End of March a petition circulated and about 2500 people (in the barios, churches, in Rincon and the Kaya Grandi) signed it - coming Monday there will be a big Demonstration (look it up in the Bonaire Reporter) from 4 - 6 pm - businesses will be closed.
|By Lorraine Meadows on Saturday, June 24, 2000 - 3:38 pm:|
|By Cors Boom on Monday, June 26, 2000 - 11:31 am:|
|By Brigitte Kley on Monday, June 26, 2000 - 11:47 am:|
|By vince couchara on Monday, June 26, 2000 - 4:23 pm:|
hey Michael & Jake. glad to hear the crime problem is solved. VINCE
|By Shelley Beban on Monday, June 26, 2000 - 4:30 pm:|
Hi Vince. When I read about the tragic killings, somehow I knew you'd crawl out from under your rock to comment. The tone of your post indicates a morsel of rightious glee. I feel sorry for you.
|By michael gaynor on Monday, June 26, 2000 - 7:03 pm:|
Vince, You are an ignorant child and I have never felt more like telling someone off. Your snide remarks are just further proof of your immaturity.
|By Cheryl A. Roberts on Monday, June 26, 2000 - 7:30 pm:|
Dear Michael (and all others that might feel compelled to respond in anger to Vince)
|By Michelle Neff on Monday, June 26, 2000 - 7:40 pm:|
Bravo Cheryl!! Couldn't have said it better myself.
|By Annette & Mark Roswell on Monday, June 26, 2000 - 8:39 pm:|
So can anyone tell us how the march went today?
|By john bressan on Monday, June 26, 2000 - 10:13 pm:|
I agree with Cheryl, If we ignore the Vinces of the world they will not have a venue and they will go away out of frustration. I would hate to see a great news group ruined by someone with such a closed mind
|By Niki Harris on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 3:03 am:|
Vince is baiting us with his mean-spirited comments. I, for one, will not think less of you (targets) when his attacks are ignored from now on. (Just in case you were thinking his stink wouldn't dissipate on its own.)
|By Lorraine Meadows on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 6:44 am:|
|By michael gaynor on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 8:25 am:|
The March was a huge success in terms of attendees. Now, they real challenge begins. We are all of the same mind and will work to change laws, etc. that have been crippling our police and government.
|By Jake Richter - NetTech on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 10:24 am:|
To elaborate on Michael's message, the march and subsequent gathering at the Wilhelmina Plein drew between four and five thousand Bonairean residents, accounting for just about half the adult population of the island. Pretty significant turnout, especially when you consider that this was a solemn occasion. In fact, this is the island's largest ever turnout for any non-celebratory event (i.e. Carnival or Regatta).
|By Ken Baranoski on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 12:15 pm:|
Would an e-mail from a few concerned tourists to the Dutch government help?
|By Cheryl A. Roberts on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 3:12 pm:|
Post an address and I am sure quite a few of us, concerned tourists, would gladly write.
|By Cors Boom on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 3:44 pm:|
|By Jake Richter - NetTech on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 4:22 pm:|
|By Carole Baker on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 4:29 pm:|
I have read all of the recent postings regarding the recent horrific crimes commited on the Island as well as the "petty" crimes, the situations at hand and what steps have been taken by the residents to bring this situation to an immediate head and what other steps those of us not residing on the Island might be able to take to show our support of the residents of Bonaire.
|By Carole Baker on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 5:13 pm:|
Jake: Thank you for posting the demostration photos. Very impressive numbers of concerned residents.
|By thomas brossard on Tuesday, June 27, 2000 - 6:52 pm:|
Jake, I also would like to thank you for the photos...very impressive.
|By Jim Goodenough on Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 11:34 am:|
Jake, thanks for the photos. Did I miss something or where the white shirts part of the theme?
|By Amy Martin on Wednesday, June 28, 2000 - 2:21 pm:|
Thanks to all of you for answering my question. I'm really happy to hear that so many are passionate about solving the problem. With resolve and teamwork you are halfway there. I also hope that this newsgroup will be the beginning of a continously growing network of support for the island. I will also be writing to the Dutch government as well as spreading the word among my other peace-loving friends and family...crime or no crime, I still look forward to my upcoming trip to Bonaire, to meeting these united people and to enjoying the beauty of the place...no one can take that away!!
|By Lorraine Meadows on Thursday, June 29, 2000 - 9:30 am:|
I will be sending my e-mail to the ministies today.
|By Cheryl A. Roberts on Thursday, June 29, 2000 - 1:32 pm:|
I sent my two cents in and I hope it helps. I posted below what I sent.
|By sharyn spray on Thursday, June 29, 2000 - 8:23 pm:|
I have also sent a message to the ministries, if evryone who is a longtime visitor(or shorttime visitor who has fallen in love with the island like the rest of us)e-mails, maybe they will begin to understand how many folks treasure Bonaire!
|By John Collins on Friday, June 30, 2000 - 2:51 pm:|
We are sending our e-mail today!!! Carol and John Collins
|By Dave Ranney on Friday, June 30, 2000 - 3:15 pm:|
I sent my email today.
|By Bruce Kemp on Friday, June 30, 2000 - 6:26 pm:|
Quietly and in a very personal way I have made Bonaire my second home.I had no right to, and the kind people of Bonaire don't even know they have me as an unofficial citizen, but I am.With all the discussion about crime and the loss of innocence on Bonaire,I've been wondering what I can do to help.Yes,I will send the email to the Dutch ministry mentioned above.But is there anything else? I know I'm not alone in refusing to accept as inevitable that Bonaire's crime will escalate to the high levels known eslewhere in the world.Why should we? If we were talking about our hometown neighborhoods we wouldn't.
|By Cors Boom on Saturday, July 1, 2000 - 9:50 am:|
The dutch parliament is adjourned now for the summerholiday and will be back at the end of august. There is a special committee for the kingdom relations. They will meet on the 6th september 2000 with Gijs de Vries, the minister responsible for the kingdom relations, and one of the subject is safety and justice on the Netherlands Antilles. If you want you can also send an email to the chairman of the committee. He is mr Paul Rosenmuller of the green party and his email address is P.Rosenmoller@tk.parlement.nl
|By herma merx on Saturday, July 1, 2000 - 11:28 am:|
We've send our email to Paul Rosenmöller today. In Dutch.
|By Ken Baranoski on Saturday, July 1, 2000 - 1:31 pm:|
My e-mails are off. I also plan to send a letter. There is still something to be said about letters, especially when dealing with government officials.
|By Corey Fischer on Monday, July 3, 2000 - 2:22 am:|
I was staying at Brigitte's Cocopalm Gardens last March when my neighbors' rented truck was stolen. I believe that event became the catalyst for the petition Brigitte started circulating, and the plans for the demonstration. What an amazing experience to log back onto the newsgroup after several months and find out how much has happened! Of course, I'll be sending my letter Rosenmoller too. May all this lead to a positive outcome. I miss Bonaire and all its good people more than I can say.
|By Vince DePietro on Tuesday, July 4, 2000 - 9:57 am:|
I'm glad to see the issue of crime is getting the attention it duly deserves. Having been involved with tourism, I know nothing can be more destructive & damaging as the "perception" of being unsafe.
|By Cheryl A. Van Beek on Tuesday, July 4, 2000 - 8:19 pm:|
I just sent my email too! I can't bear to see Bonaire ruined!
|By Cheryl A. Van Beek on Tuesday, July 4, 2000 - 8:40 pm:|
I just sent my email too! I can't bear to see Bonaire ruined!
|By Mickeywillemsen on Sunday, July 16, 2000 - 2:07 pm:|
Hi everyone.This is the first time I place a comment about the crime on Bonaire.I'm from Holland and a lot of people are proud that there is also a small part of Holland in the beautefull caraibean and that there is "still" a quit place to go to on there vacation were they can relax and be totally away from the hectic and agressive Holland.So it's very sad to hear that Bonaire is gliding of to the same level of living in many big city's of Holland also.The Dutch government is spending a big deal of taxmoney to refugees and all kind of other helpfunds witch I think is o.k. but now I really think that it's time to help our own small part of Holland in need and the people that live on the island also.I'm ashamad that my government is almost doing nothing about it and it's time that someone stands up and put his feet on the ground and do something about it.Like someone else said;it's a small island and it can't be that big a problem to solve the crimewave on the island but if the Dutch Gov. ain't doing nothing about it the problem only will grow.I will mail this message to the Dutch gov. also and hope that many more will follow and that they finaly will WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!
|By Antonio Ferrer on Sunday, July 16, 2000 - 5:46 pm:|
In spite of the deterioration that is common to all modern industrialised society, Holland is still a special part of Europe, and that is, in a way, reflected on Bonaire. As you say, just don't let that slip away!
|By Cors Boom on Monday, July 17, 2000 - 12:35 pm:|
There was a full page item in last saturday's Telegraaf, the largest paper of the Netherlands, describing the problems with crime, not enough money for the police, mentioning the march and there was also a picture of the march included. Also the report from the central government in Willemstad about the police got quite a bit of attention on television and in the papers. Maybe something will come out of it.
|By herma merx on Tuesday, July 18, 2000 - 11:06 am:|
I'm surprised not reading any follow-up about the the double murder that shocked the island population. Last good news: about two weeks ago police's arrested three young Bonairians, already known as dangerous criminals. They have confessed now. Our police and D.A. seem to be sure that the case is solved. And not only that: also other violent crimes including an alarming weapon theft the end of last year. Polices digged up the guns around the house of the main suspect. The killers still have to be convicted and hopefully sentenced to very long time, but the people here feel relieved already.
|By Lorraine Meadows on Tuesday, July 18, 2000 - 9:26 pm:|
The Reporter had an article about it I thought was very good.
|By Glen Reem on Wednesday, July 19, 2000 - 1:44 am:|
There is more info on the murder case and
|By Cors Boom on Tuesday, August 1, 2000 - 3:22 pm:|
Today I got a reply to my email to the dutch ministry of the interior and kingdom relations and they are confirming something is happening. They had a meeting with the central government in Willemstad and the local authorities from Bonaire at the beginning of july. They say the government in Willemstad will arrange a building for the police and that 7 additional policemen have been sent to Bonaire and that soon training of 20 assistants will start. They have also agreed that the dutch government will fund a study to analyse crime on Bonaire and to see what can be improved. Let's hope that together with the recent success of the police the situation will improve.
|By jeroen aalders on Monday, August 28, 2000 - 11:48 am:|
so with a little help from the dutch government it should all work out fine...
|By Anonymous on Wednesday, February 21, 2001 - 6:01 pm:|
This morning I learned about a robbery which took
|By Linda Richter - NetTech on Wednesday, February 21, 2001 - 7:27 pm:|
Not to make light of the recent robbery, but just as an FYI - the double murder from the spring/summer was solved. The killers have been convicted and sentenced for their crime.
|By Kelly Hirsh on Wednesday, February 21, 2001 - 9:00 pm:|
Linda thanks for setting the unknown writer (and the record) right. As to carrying guns to protect oneself, that is simple insane. We don't even do that in New Orleans and we are navel deep in carnival right now (Mardi Gras).
|By James K. Andrews on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 2:05 pm:|
Where did this assault take place?
|By Jake Richter - NetTech on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 9:50 am:|
|By Jennifer Marshall on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 1:39 pm:|
|By James K. Andrews on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 2:41 pm:|
|By Jake Richter - NetTech on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 3:12 pm:|
There wasn't a robbery "at Carnival". There was apparently a burglary attempt _during_ the time of the kids Carnival at a house located on the west side of the big hill north of Kralendijk (I guess you could call the area "upper Sabadeco" - it's about 3-4 miles from town), as I understand it. No one was home at the time (other than the burglars of course).
|By James K. Andrews on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 3:52 pm:|
|By Kelly Hirsh on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 4:03 pm:|
James, where were you staying at the time of the incident, did you report it and what was the response.
|By Kelly Hirsh on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 4:11 pm:|
To All, living and working in New Orleans is just like any big city. As Jennifer said, you cannot come to a city and open yourself up. Right now it is much worse in New Orleans because of Mardi Gras. As said by Jennifer and Jake, I feel much more secure and comfortable on Bonaire than any other place I visit.
|By Barry Baker on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 4:31 pm:|
Jake or Linda:
|By Linda Richter - NetTech on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 4:52 pm:|
We found Bonaireans in general to be very friendly. Your experience in Rincon sounds typical. It is common to wave at everybody you know (or don't) or a short little toot on the car horn. We knew we finally got it, the day we stopped in the middle of the road to have a conversation with someone passing by in another car - blocked traffic, nobody cared. A nod of the head to say hello, a cheerful "Bon Dia" when you enter an office, a wave of the hand to let you enter traffic are all very typical Bonaire.
|By Kelly Hirsh on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 6:00 pm:|
My case in point, when diving Jeannies Glory I managed to get our truck STUCK !!!!. A truck full of Bonairians stopped, help dig us out and they only thing they would take is Amstel. We offered $$$$ (ice cream for the kids) but they refused, said a handshake between friends was all that was called for. I gladly shook every hand I could find (grin).
|By Barry Baker on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 6:21 pm:|
This was not a run in, I just noticed it as I was driving by. This was just a curiosity side note to the topic on crime as to whether the Bonaireans had a bad feeling for being a destination for others with money to come to. Maybe I am too jaded and looking through those jade colored glasses to realize that not all people are bad. In this country driving a nice vehicle through a poor neighborhood gets stares and sometimes more. In some situations here you are considered a bad person if you have more than someone else, either earned or not. I have only been to Bonaire for a total of 21 days over 2 years and maybe it will take some time to get used to beleiving what I am seeing. My first drive through Rincon last year, I was nervous. This years drive through Rincon I waved at people and they waved back. Maybe thats why I love this island so much as to consider moving there one day.
|By Robert Deal on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 6:56 pm:|
There's the answer! Go more often...make more friends...learn the language.
|By Josie on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 7:41 pm:|
I must admit that I notice that more local people on Bonaire make eye contact, smile and wave than I ever experience in the US or England (particularly, for some reason, England --- virtually NO eye contact there!) BTW, I'm English!
|By James K. Andrews on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 8:29 pm:|
|By Kelly Hirsh on Saturday, February 24, 2001 - 1:00 am:|
Jim, of course it is your choice.
|By Bill Sweeney on Sunday, June 3, 2001 - 6:20 pm:|
Bon Dia! I'm a first-time poster to this board. With the anniversary of Bonaire's March on Crime 2000 coming up this month, I wonder if anyone would comment about what, if anything, has happened in the past year. I guess we'd all like it if it was a "no news is good news" situation. By that I mean if crimes do not occur, then that's good, but we may not necessarily hear that as news. By the same token, it would be sad (but necessary) to read that responsible authorities have failed to adequately address this issue and that no real improvement has been made. I am curious to read any first-hand accounts regarding whether crime is less of a problem on Bonaire now than it was this time last year.
|By Sarah on Monday, June 4, 2001 - 2:26 pm:|
Hello all, just been reading through all of your comments on the crime situation.
|By Sarah on Monday, June 4, 2001 - 2:29 pm:|
Ignore the first shot folks, wrong image. But there are lots of colorful fishes and the odd Black-Tip
|By Cecil Berry on Monday, June 4, 2001 - 3:45 pm:|
Lets see Tahitian Black Tips and Bonaire crime, they're pretty close. Certainly got a laugh out of me.
|By Sarah on Monday, June 4, 2001 - 5:29 pm:|
Cecil, perhaps the black-tips should be patroling the island, ha, ha. Glad you had a laugh, always look on the bright side
|By Linnea Wimberly on Wednesday, June 13, 2001 - 8:54 pm:|
I have walked around Kralendijk at night by myself when visiting Boanire and have never felt threatened in anyway. When traveling anywhere, I have always made it a point to not look overly 'prosperous'. I have seen people dripping gold jewelry in various parts of the world and the first thing that comes to mind when I see that - is someone is saying 'Look at me - I want to be robbed.'
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