Boycott Watch  
February 3, 2008
Aruba Boycott Over?
Summary: New evidence in the Natalee Holloway case may not satisfy the Aruba boycotters.
    With the news that Dutch reporter Peter R. de Vries may have solved the case of the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, the underlying reasons for the boycott of Aruba may soon be waning, but in the mean time the boycott calls are strong.

    In December, Boycott Watch made an informal survey of Aruba and found that there were lots of airline seats and hotel rooms available for the remainder of the winter tourism season. At the current moment, however, Aruba is packed with Spring Break tourists, college students who have flocked to Aruba where the legal drinking age of 18 is seldom enforced for one main reason - Aruba just wants the US tourism dollars. Boycott Watch believes many of these spring break packages were sold in late December and January. US students are attracted to Aruba not only because of the low drinking age, but also because heavy drugs are easy to obtain there without fear of arrest - Aruba virtually allows all tourists to experiment with drugs without worry of the consequences they would face in the US, especially when the parents the spring break college students are more than 1000 miles away.

    Underage drinking and drugs plus Aruba's unofficial "look the other way as long as US dollars are being spent" policy is something that many parents are not aware of, but it is common knowledge among college students. It is doubtful that Natalee Holloway's high school administrators or classmate's parents were aware of the Aruba's reputation or they would not have allowed a class trip to Aruba in the first place. This is because Aruba advertises itself as "One Happy Island" but perhaps a more realistic name would be "One Intoxicated Island."

    In our December 20, 2007, report, Boycott Watch mentioned the drug issues in Aruba and asked "if any of the Aruba Three were tested for drugs after Natalee's disappearance." Fox News reported that the Peter R. de Vries report contains allegations that Natalee Holloway may have died after a drug overdose. This opens questions about who Natalee may have obtained the drugs from and if any of her companions that night may have also been using drugs at the time, or did one of the Aruba locals perhaps just got Natalee drugged-up so they could take advantage of her. If either is the case, the boycott against Aruba could go on indefinitely.

    Additionally, the soon to be released Peter R. de Vries report will likely confirm that Boycott Watch was right with our drug concerns. In our same report, Boycott Watch mention an activity in Aruba reported to us called "pimping," where local Aruban men pick up foreign tourist women, including openly in hotel lobbies, with the idea of getting them drunk in order to take advantage of them. The "pimping" activity is reported to be so common that it is not even noticed and Boycott Watch has received a report of the "primping" targeted to a 14 year old girl.

    In the meantime, family vacationers still appear to be avoiding Aruba, yet college students go to Aruba specifically because of the lax laws and enforcement. Perhaps this lackluster attention to personal safety and the commonality of the "pimping" is the reason Natalee Holloway was not noticed by the locals shortly before she disappeared - the "pimping" activity is so rampant it is just not noticed, and Aruban police therefore did not take the case seriously when they should have.

    The de Vries report may empower the Aruba boycotters, and Boycott Watch will update this report after the de Vries report airs.

E-Mail This Page to a Friend
Enter the recipient's e-mail address:

(Click here to return to top of page)
 ©2003-2008 Boycott Watch