By Caribbean News Now contributor
WILLEMSTAD, Curacao -- Helmin Wiels, a popular Curacao politician and leader of the largest political party, Pueblo Soberano, was shot dead on Sunday afternoon by two men, who fired five shots at him, killing him instantly.
Wiels was known for his stand on the constitutional structure of the island and he was in favour of independence. He was a social worker and was host of a radio show presenting different current issues on the island.
Prime Minister Daniel Hodge expressed his deep sadness for the situation and said he condemns and repudiates this act.
“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 ask 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,” Hodge said during a press conference on Sunday night. 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.
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 arrived, he confirmed the death of Mr Wiels,” Wernet said.
“A request 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 and senior prosecutor De Jong said that all legal resources will be used to solve the case and bring justice to those who committed this horrendous act.
Ivar Asjes, representative of the political party Pueblo Soberano, which was headed by Wiels, expressed his condolences to his family and asked all 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 Wiels’ family 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 provide any information that could lead to those who committed this crime.
The Curacao Chronicle contributed to this report