Published On: Fri, Nov 17th, 2017


“Former president Central Bank Curacao and St. Maarten not sentenced for tax fraud.”

And: “Stinking rich bank director Curacao gets off scot-free.”

These are two headlines in Dutch newspapers that illustrate how their editors perceive the Caribbean.

The first headline is from the Volkskrant; the second one from the Telegraaf.

The story is of course about the former president of the Central Bank, Dr. Emsley Tromp.

The Dutch headlines suggest two things. One is that Tromp committed tax fraud but that he was not sentenced for it. The other headline depicts Tromp as filthy rich – as if there is a law against having a lot of money.

What is the reality? The court in Willemstad acquitted Tromp of any wrongdoing. That’s quite a difference from “not being sentenced.”

While there is no smoke without fire and while we have heard people say in the past that Tromp invented corruption in Curacao, we think that the man is at least entitled to fair reporting about his legal troubles.

We also always thought that the media should separate factual reporting from opinion. The two headlines we refer to here are (in our opinion) highly suggestive and opinionated.

That’s why stmaartennews.com opted for a simple headline that says exactly what happened: Court acquits Tromp.