Boycott Watch  
February 18, 2008
Aruba: Corrupt or incompetent? Boycott pressure is heating up.
Summary: Analysis of the latest news from Aruba, current boycott activity and predictions.
    With all the news out of Aruba regarding the Natalee Holloway case, Boycott Watch research has revealed a manic response by the US public as evident by the tourism package purchasing trends.

    Recent numbers show that tourism has consistently been down in Aruba and that Aruba has been making up some of the lost US tourism from other countries. Most telling are the reports we are getting from the cruise ship industry which reports lower demand to the Caribbean in general. Aruba has also reported less cruise ship ports of call visits and cruise ship visitors have reported that stores in Aruba are relatively empty compared to past years.

    Regarding the current mood in Aruba, we have reports that the Van der Sloot home has been vandalized and Yoran's bicycle, his reported primary method of transportation, has been destroyed. Arbans are reportedly taking their frustration over the loss of tens of millions of tourism dollars out on the Van der Sloot family.

    Meanwhile the blog "Boycott Aruba--Justice For Natalee" posted the transcript from investigator Art Wood who appeared on the Fox News Channel in an interview with Kimberly Guilfoyle, Saturday, February 16, 2008, stating that he believes "Daury" is really "Daddy". This bombshell report makes us wonder if the Aruban government is competent in the investigation for several reasons, starting with the loss of evidence early in the investigation.

    Now, we are seeing reporters and other non-police investigators leading the way in uncovering evidence in the case. This is reminiscent of the Watergate scandal, where two reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, broke the entire story that was later proven to have been covered up at the highest levels of the government.

    The concern of Boycott Watch is the level of effectiveness of the Aruba boycott, plus the long term affect such a boycott will have, if any. The major factor we believe people have to watch is the prosecution of Yoran Van der Sloot and especially the claim by investigator Art Wood that "Daury" is really "Daddy". If that is the case, the cover-up will have been more than just by Yoran Van der Sloot and it may indicate that his father may have either taken action to thwart such an investigation or used his political influence or government office status to block the investigation, even if merely asking people for his trust, not to mention that he kept secrets from investigators, meaning obstruction of justice by a judge. That is speculation, but it would explain much of what we have seen, or better yet what we have not seen until the confession video was released.

    In general, Americans are keeping away from Aruba , at least in numbers that are hurting the Aruban economy. Boycott Watch predicts Americans will continue to boycott Aruba if Yoran Van der Sloot does not receive a long prison sentence.

    In the mean time, the boycotters are turning up the heat. The blog "Boycott Aruba- Justice For Natalee" which is one of the leading boycott Aruba sites, is now calling for a boycott of US companies which do business in Aruba, such as McDonald's, Wendy's, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Nike, Toyota, Polo Ralph Lauren and Disney.

    These are by definition secondary boycotts and in the cases of fast-food establishments, these may be franchises so a general boycott of these companies may affect businesses that have nothing to do with Aruba. The idea behind these, though, is to put pressure on the parent company. Boycott Watch is not fond of secondary boycotts because they can have adverse affects on entities which have nothing to do with the target at hand. Since the primary boycott is an entity which is far away, meaning Aruba, the more local secondary boycotts may be the only way for some people to express their disdain with Aruba. Measuring the effects of secondary boycotts, however, can be difficult.

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