Hats Off to Bondia

The media informed that the Chief of Asylum at DIMAS, a lawyer, was suspended, and that the responsibility for processing of Asylum Seekers, now under Integration, is being evaluated, whether it belong under Justice or Integration, two different ministries.

We also read that a devastating report on the conduct of GNC, Guarda Nos Costa, our Coast Guard, unceremoniously showed the almighty current director the door.

All those stories and more were uncovered by Bondia, a local daily paper, among the few independent sources of news on the island, dedicated to news, not scandal, seeking unbiased, accurate information, where many other media outlets are just mouth-pieces of manufactured law-enforcement stories and government propaganda, spoon-feeding us what the people in authority want us to know.

According to my sources, Bondia has been sitting on the story for a while – it was first reported in June, but now the publishing opportunity presented itself.

Apparently VDA, Veiligheiddienst Aruba, exposed unlawful conduct of all involved in the asylum-seeking process, mishandling people, deporting without due process and in general ignoring all international treaties, the law, the administration, and in particular, the rules of good governance, which DIMAS and GNC are supposed to uphold.

The question remains if the embattled director of DIMAS knew, or she blindly trusted her minions.

The story broke when certain documents of DIMAS were leaked.

Some honest insider felt it was enough, and decided to protest by whistle blowing.

We need more whistle-blowers because an underlying lawlessness governs many aspects of life on the island, with GNC leading the way, with a total lack of compassion, and complete disregard to Human Rights.

The Bondia investigation reports that DIMAS provided the court erroneous information in relation to an asylum case. In simple English terms it means they lied.

The story goes the following: A person without legal status in Aruba caused an accident in 2020. The police officers, turned the case over to Guarda Nos Costa. The individual filed a petition, contesting his detention because he filed an asylum application which was pending. A local judge ruled that DIMAS must process the asylum application as soon as possible, but the fact was that DIMAS had already issued a negative decision on his asylum application from the start.

According to my sources issuing a negative decision is an automatic practice here, in total disregard to international treaties, the law, the administration, due process and, in particular, the rules of good governance, which they are supposed to uphold.

The Bondia journalist fired a series of emails questioning the DIMAS director and didn’t take NO for an answer.

My sincere compliments. The director of Bondia Aruba believed that the flippant response to the email questions was unsatisfactory. Bondia Aruba was not interested in the identity of the person in question, but in the way his asylum was handled — principles above personalities.

(While it is true that we have many economic migrants that do not qualify for political asylum, nevertheless, their cases must be heard and evaluated, not automatically dismissed.)

As reported: “At this moment, the VDA in cooperation with the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands, has taken the investigation here over, and the Chief of Asylum Affairs has been suspended. Asylum is the responsibility of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and in view of the circumstances, democratic rule of law must be guaranteed and protected.

Further suspensions in DIMAS and GNC might occur, as this is NOT the only case where the process was mishandled.

For example, the case of JD: In 2021, JD, a man who grew up here, yet without a legal status, was grabbed by GNC, and deported to Haiti, the country of his birth. That deportation decree was already waved once in 2012, but this time the prosecutor was fast, and just put him on a plane out without a passport, just a rushed Laissez-Passer. JD left Haiti as a baby of eighteen months, has no Haitian papers, and has been living in Aruba, always.

His friends here went to court a number of times since, and WON. The court decided JD MUST be repatriated by the government, and nada. With the deportation reversed we thought he would be issued Dutch papers and flown back to Aruba.

Yet, no one moves.

Nothing has been done.

Why? Because the authorities are shielded by their indifference, with a total lack of compassion, and complete disregard to human rights.

They knew no one was watching.

But apparently now, VDA is.

Appalled by the heartless system, it moved in to make changes.

Thank you Bondia, for exposing the story

With DENIAL as a government policy, and the systematic holding back on the issuance of all permits, the press plays a vital role.


For your information:

According to international law in regards to seeking asylum there is NO limitation on when a solicitation of asylum is being submitted. Aruba is obliged to review the cases of all those who seek asylum. Only after reviewing their claims and denying their claim as unsubstantiated can they be deported. The problem is that there are no functioning asylum procedures, receiving asylum claims, and reviewing them in Aruba….

Share on:

September 20, 2022
Rona Coster