But I don’t understand why people treat the island – and each other – so badly. Garbage is everywhere, dumped in nature, even after locals have just cleaned the sites and put signs ‘keep our island clean’. Dogs are mistreated, kept on chains in the burning sun without shelter or water, dumped alive when they are old or sick, many stray dogs face horrible fates.
The much disputed ugly and dirty oil refinery, the corrupt politics; while I was writing country reports for The Economist Intelligence Unit (a website for investors where The Economist collects relevant country information and updates) it became clear how deep rooted these problems are. When Curaçao became independent from The Netherlands in 2010 there was a huge infusion of money from Holland. Local politicians made it all disappear. The prime Minister at that time, Gerrit Schotte, was even convicted for fraud, corruption and other criminal activities. He has to spend three years in jail. But the money, meant to uplevel the island, is gone. And you know what: Schotte wants to continue practicing politics from jail! And he is banned from being in elections for only 5 years: which means he can come back into politics and continue his practices!
At one point I could not take it anymore. My love for the island hurt so much that I left and decided not to come back.
But pain heals, love grows and Curaçao kept calling me.