(De Ware Tijd) On Saturday evening, Dutch tourist Hans Janssen (54) was murdered by robbers while he and his wife Rianne were walking back from Henck Arronstraat to their guest house on Jesserunstraat. At the beginning of the street where it is pitch dark, a car was parked alongside the road. When Mrs. Janssen wanted to walk past it the door suddenly flew open and she looked into the shortened barrel of a hunting rifle. She immediately wanted to take off her belt-purse but her husband repeatedly called to her not to. As he shouted that and started a fight with the two robbers, she thought the rifle might be a fake and ran towards the guesthouse. She then heard a shot and turning around saw her husband sitting on the ground with his back against the wall. The car then headed her way and thinking that they were coming for her, she hid. The car flew past her and she then went back to her husband hoping that he had been shot in the legs only to find out that he was mortally wounded in the chest. The robbers took off with his bag containing among others a very expensive camera, an I-pod, their passports, tickets and keys.
****In an editorial in today’s issue de Ware Tijd lamented the attack on the tourist and worried about its impact on tourism.
“It is striking that 3 murders have been committed in that vicinity within 1 year. All sorts of ideas are developed to develop tourism. Tourists enjoy the Surinamese hospitality but it is such incidents that do serious damage to the credibility of the country’s security. We are lucky that tourists remain levelheaded and find consolation in the thought that criminals are responsible for such cowardly crimes but then there are ample Surinamese who seriously condemn this deed and show compassion. In recent years, entrepreneurs have taken to opening guesthouses. The increasing sense of insecurity can mean the end of this branch and this also applies to the many restaurants and other tourist locations that generate an important source of income for the State.
Calamities such as robbery with murder harm tourism and if nothing is done to return the security it could mean the final blow to tourism in general and the security of the Surinamese people in particular. Debates on security have recently been held with much fervor in Parliament. The realization of the many promises for a stringent approach is however not yet visible. Patrols of police and the military should increase the surveillance. Up till now nothing has been done about this and this should change.”