Open letter to the King, Anouk continues her campaign

In a 10.000 word open letter to the His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, published in AWEMainta, Anouk Balentina reminded him of his duties as king and outlined the story of the dump in Parkietenbos.

She is a lawyer, quoting constitutional law in her latest cry for help.

Don’t let yourself be misled by what you see, she says, and it is your responsibility as the king of Aruba, our constitutional monarch to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens which she, as a citizen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, finds violated to the extreme.

GOA has been busy window-dressing in honor of the royal visit, she continues, so visitors will not see the real picture, the suffering or misery — even the museums, closed to the public for years, were opened for the day, and a new layer of asphalt laid where the royal traveled, while residents are begging for years for the pothole-riddled, dirt roads to be fixed.

They even covered the landfill with sand, hoping it will not flare up.  Yet, it did, as his Majesty’s plane touched down in Aruba, clouds of smoke billowed over the dump.

Anouk cites long-term neglect by our governments, and the failure to properly handle the island’s waste, dry and wet, especially in the light of the ever-increasing pressure of the tourist industry. This to her constitutes serious violation of our fundamental human rights.

GOA looks the other way, she explains, as the toxic fumes, and dangerous substances from the burning waste mountain, and the incinerator, affect adults and children living in the neighborhoods around the dump. The stench, the flies, the airway diseases, sacrifice our well-being, health and the enjoyment of living.

Anouk explains that reports and advice on the hazards and risks to the environment, nature and people are simply ignored, legal verdicts overlooked, and there is no help coming from the Public Prosecutor the Politicians nor the Parliamentarians, because Aruba has no environmental legislation. Citizens, have no guarantee that their lives would be protected. To date, no health impact study has been conducted, air, soil, ocean, none assessed, while for years asbestos and radioactive substances, have been poorly handled.

GOA has refused independent professionals, she says, such as the RIVM’s advice – that’s the Dutch environmental agency. Financial aid, provided by the Netherlands over the years was wasted on political infighting, and frivolous projects.

This situation cannot continue this way, Anouk states. They hide behind their island’s so-call autonomy, and the situation remains the same.

As kingdom citizens, Anouk demands more protection at kingdom level. Because leaving the issue at the hands of our own politicians, tramples our rights.

The letter goes on to say we need structural and durable solutions, but we do not have the legislation and the capacity to implement anything that would actually solve the waste challenges.

She urged the king to drive by and see the situation with his own eyes, and watch the incinerator working full time, burning sludge, from the Bubali water treatment plant, which it is not equipped for. While Parkietenbos landfill is officially closed, the nuisance did not go away.

To conclude Anouk wants the king to actively intervene, to protect our human rights as equal citizens in the Dutch kingdom, safeguarding the fundamental rights to health, undisturbed life and a clean environment

The original text was written by Anouk Balentina Oranjestad, January 29, 2023, it was an open letter to H.M. King Willem-Alexander, titled: Autonomy as a license for human rights violations? Where is the guarantee?

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February 02, 2023
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