Campo Alegre, Really???

With amazement, I learned yesterday about the initial information regarding the purchase of the Campo Alegre brothel (or at least the properties) by the Pisas II Cabinet. The first thing that came to mind was, "This can't be true," and "How foolish can one be?" After the Prime Minister's statements, it turned out to be true. The government bought the properties as a "strategic investment" and would decide what to do with them in about 3 months. 


It is a well-known fact that Pisas promised during the election campaign that MFK would reopen the Campo Alegre brothel, but it couldn't be that simple, could it? 


Not with 8 million guilders of public funds on the same day that water, electricity, and gasoline prices increased? While the government was negotiating a 1.2 billion guilders loan in connection with the ENNIA debacle? Not just weeks after only 1 million guilders could be allocated to provide 30 schools with air conditioning units to alleviate the unbearable heat in which our children and teachers could no longer attend classes? 


So, I awaited the "intellectual explanation" in which a plausible argument would be provided to justify this political stunt, because surely, that must follow? This couldn't just be acceptable as is, could it? There was no plausible explanation. I was unpleasantly surprised. What followed was a meaningless press release and the well-known Facebook statements by Silvania, one crazier than the other. 


For those interested, I will briefly explain why none of the explanations make sense. 


In short, the explanation amounted to the following: 


The government purchased strategic real estate with significant development potential, without a clear purpose, at a good price, with the intention of determining its use in three months, but also to ensure that ANG 8 million would flow into the Crime Fund so that cars, weapons, and uniforms can be purchased for the Justice system, which urgently needs them. Or as the Minister of Justice announced on his Facebook page: "Boom, 8 million in the Crime Fund,"  


Questions and Answers Regarding the Campo Alegre Purchase 


1 Did the government have to buy Campo Alegre so that the Justice department could get money to buy cars, weapons, and uniforms? No. Real estate is purchased by the government using funds from the capital service of the budget. This is designated for (sustainable) investments and projects. Every ministry (including Justice), every service (including KPC), buys weapons, cars, and uniforms through the capital service, not through the Crime Fund. The Crime Fund is only used for those purposes when there is no money available in the capital service. 


The fact that there were funds available in the capital service is evident, especially from the purchase of Campo Alegre! If there was 8 million guilders available to buy Campo, why couldn't that money be used directly to purchase cars, weapons, and uniforms for Justice? Why divert money into the Crime Fund through the purchase of Campo Alegre? 


2 Was it necessary for the government to buy Campo so that the funds would go into the Crime Fund? Absolutely not! Campo Alegre was under seizure by the Public Prosecutor's Office (OM). The sale proceeds would automatically go into the Crime Fund regardless of who bought it. The seizure was made in the context of a criminal confiscation case. The intention is that third parties pay the money so that criminal proceeds are confiscated from the convicted individuals, and their criminal funds are used to bring about positive development in the community (Not government funds).


So, once again, regardless of which buyer purchased Campo, the money would go into the Crime Fund. 


Furthermore, I am convinced that the purchase of Campo is counterproductive for the economy. By buying Campo, the government is actually preventing any (local or foreign) investor from bringing "new money" into the local economy because government funds that were already budgeted to be spent are now being used to hinder "fresh investment" in the local economy. By spending the same money twice (buying Campo and materials for Justice), the government creates the illusion that the local economy is growing when, in fact, their actions are working against it. 


3 Was the purchase so strategic?  


I remember during the discussion of the "transfer of lands to the US Consulate," the Minister of VVRP explained that he needed money to develop Landhuis Zuurzak (the former residence of the Gezaghebber). Like many government buildings, it was in disrepair, and a small amount would be sufficient to make it usable and profitable as "public property" again. To date, this has not happened.  


Just like Landhuis Zuurzak, you have the City Hall (Courthouse Building), the Old BC Building, and dozens of other government-owned properties that need a "small investment" to significantly reduce government rental costs. However, this was not "strategic" enough for this government. No, buying a parcel of land for 8 million guilders without a "known" purpose was. 


All in all, it quickly became clear that the Pisas Cabinet has simply used public funds to fulfill a campaign promise. After "tinted windows," no COHO, and the Soto Stadium, it's now time for the reopening of Campo Alegre. Next, we await the (actual) reopening of the Refinery, a "wip room" for SDKK, and "Plan B" (no more borrowing from the Netherlands). 


Whether the Curaçaoan community has actually made any progress with these promises is questionable at best. Note that not even the central and relevant question of whether the government wants a prostitution center at Campo Alegre could be clearly answered by the Prime Minister. Perhaps that had something to do with the prayer meeting the night before. 


Campo Alegre, Really??