07 May 2013

Curacao Government condemns assassination of Helmin Wiels

WILLEMSTAD – “The Curacao Government condemns the assassination act against the political leader Helmin Wiels, which took place on Sunday May 5, 2013 a few minutes before five. 

We for the people of Curacao to stay calm. The Government will do its utmost to solve this case. There are lots of emotion and pain, but we have to demonstrate civism and let the authorities do their work,” this is what outgoing Prime Minister of Curacao, Daniel Hodge said during a press conference on Sunday night at Fort Amsterdam. He was accompanied by the Minister of Justice, Nelson Navarro.

During the press conference, Chief of Police, Marlon Wernet, Senior Prosecutor, Heiko de Jong, Ivar Asjes of Pueblo Soberano and President of Parliament Mike Franco were also present. Some members of the Hodge Cabinet and also other Members of Parliament attended the press conference.

Mr. Wernet gave a short report on what exactly happened but emphasized that not all details are yet available. “A few minutes before five, there were shots fired at Marie Pampoen Beach. Mr. Helmin Wiels was fatally shot. Medical assistance was in vain. 

When the official police doctor arrives he confirmed the death of Mr. Wiels,’ Wernet said. “A petition goes to the whole community to please report any information you might have on this incident which could help authorities solve the case. Please call 911, 866-6124 or the anonymous line 108,” Wernet concluded. The Public Prosecution’s Office started immediately with the investigation. Senior Prosecutor, De Jong, said that all legal resources will be used to solve this case and bring justice to those who committed this horrendous act.

Ivar Asjes, representative of the political party Pueblo Soberano, which was headed by Helmin Wiels, expressed his condolences to the family of the late Helmin Wiels and has asked all the sympathizers to stay calm but alert. “What has happened is unacceptable for the Curacao that we all desire,” Asjes said.

President of Parliament, Mike Franco, also expressed his sincere condolences to the family of the member of Parliament, Helmin Wiels and declared that starting Monday the flag at the Parliament building will be at half mast.

Prime Minister Daniel Hodge concluded by asking everyone once again to stay calm and give any information that could lead to those who have committed this crime.

Rapa Nui elder says indigenous people must own marine reserves

A Rapa Nui elder says if reserves are established around her island her people must own them.

Pew Environment Group’s Kermadec Initiative hosted a group from Rapa Nui or Easter Island, French Polynesia and Chile looking to New Zealand for expertise on how to protect their ocean resources.
The trip has been described as an opportunity for the indigenous delegates to see how iwi have been able to negotiate with the government.

But Jacqueline Rapu Tuki says indigenous people should get the benefit of marine reserves.
“Here in New Zealand the government owns the reserve. What we’d like to see on Rapa Nui is that the Rapa Nui own the reserve.”
Jacqueline Rapu Tuki says a marine reserve would be very important for Rapa Nui’s identity but also for the rest of the world.


The Federation of Maori Authorities says the recent waka tapu voyage to Rapanui or Easter Island late last year gave tangata whenua there hope and inspiration about trade and exchange with their Maori cousins.

Te Aurere and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti left Auckland in September last year for a return journey to the island to complete the last leg of the Polynesian triangle.

Traci Houpapa, who was in Rapanui in March says the waka expedition also reminded the Easter Islanders of their early relationship with Maori, and started conversations about on-going cultural exchanges, and confirmed an ancient prophesy.

She says the Rapanui people were overwhelmed to host their Maori cousins because their historical stories told them that when the Maori of Aotearoa come to Easter Island it's time for them to stand up.

Ms Houpapa says this isn't the first time Polynesian canoes have made it to the shores of Rapanui or other parts of the Pacific, but indeed confirmation that the ancestors of the Maori travelled , traded and returned, and navigated the seas - not by chance, but by strategy and a deliberate decision to trade, export and exchange.