Helmin Wiels shot dead

WILLEMSTAD - Leader of Curaçao coalition party “Pueblo Soberano” (PS) Helmin Magno Wiels was shot and killed at the Marie Pampoen pier Sunday afternoon. Bystanders heard several shots at the public beach and fishing port, five of which apparently hit him.

Wiels, who apparently came there to buy something as he has often done, was left lying motionless face down on the ground following the incident.
Unconfirmed reports said two young men with their heads covered in hoods were seen running away right after the shooting, but there was no immediate word on a possible motive. Paramedics upon their arrival covered the face of the politician, indicating he had passed away.
The latter was also confirmed by the doctor on duty who appeared soon after, as did Justice Minister Nelson Navarro and various other parliamentarians both from the PS- and other fractions. Relatives and supporters of the victim were also on hand, many of them crying and angry about what happened.
Wiels had been a social worker before he turned to politics. He first started in “Ningun Paso Atras” (NPA), with among others Nelson Pierre and then established PS in 2005.
During a hastily called press conference at the Council of Ministers last night, Prime Minister Daniel Hodge (PS) called what happened “terrible” and condemned such in the strongest terms. “These are things that don’t happen here,” he added, hinting that Wiels may have been targeted.
He said he understood people were shocked and emotional, but asked everyone to please stay calm and keep a cool head, allowing authorities to do their work. He added that extra measures were quickly taken to ensure the safety of other parliamentarians and members of government.
Police received the call just before 5pm. Under guidance of several prosecutors they immediately collected evidence, including empty bullet cartridges on the scene, and started interviewing witnesses, while steps were taken to protect the democratic institutions on the island.
Navarro (PAIS) confirmed that Wiels had been provided with a security detail as of late, but preferred not to use it on weekends for reasons of privacy. He specifically asked people not to take the law in their own hands or do anything they might later regret, but rather help the police with any information they might have. He too assured that all available legal resources will be used to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Police chief Wernet said all uniformed services were activated to hunt down the killers, including the Coast Guard to ensure they don’t get away by boat. He would not answer a question about the getaway car supposedly having been found.
Wernet said they would accept help from all possible sources, including other countries to help solve this crime that shocked the local community. “Bad will not be allowed to prevail over good,” he said.
PS-fraction member Ivar Asjes said Curaçao had lost a great leader, but that would not stop the movement he started. “There will be new people to take over the struggle.”
He called on the party’s militants to say calm but alert, “as this is simply unacceptable.” Asjes invited people in need of comfort to gather at the PS headquarters in Wishi-Marchena, which many did. 

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