Above: Helmin Wiels (Photo: Pueblo Soberano)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Helmin Wiels, a lawyer and leader of the popular Pueblo Soberano political party in Curacao, was assassinated on Sunday afternoon.
Wiels, an outspoken supporter of independence and crusader against corruption in the Dutch Caribbean territory, was reportedly shot by a pair of assailants while at the beach.
In a statement, Curacao Prime Minister Daniel Hodge said the government condemned the attack, urging calm. Hodge is currently serving as Prime Minister in a provisional capacity after being appointed in late 2012.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also condemned the murder, phoning Hodge and conveying the condolences of the Dutch people.
“Much is still unclear, but nothing can justify such a cowardly act,” Rutte said in a statement. “Curacao has lost a passionate politician, a man who fought for his beliefs and ideals, and above all loved his country.”
Pueblo Soberano is currently a minority party in the country’s 21-seat Parliament, with five seats.
The murder of Wiels may have been related to his stiff anti-corruption stance, according to certain reports.