Saturday, June 15, 2013

Indonesia: Woman, 33, Boyfriend, Detained in Abduction of French Toddler, 2, Victim Released

Indonesian police in Bali have arrested an East Timorese woman, Joaninha Maria Sonia Gonzales, 33, for allegedly kidnapping a French toddler, 2, on the tourist island of Bali. The abduction occurred on Wednesday night (June 12) while the boy's father was sleeping.

Although not clear in press reports, it is presumed that the kidnapping occurred while the toddler, Gonzales and the boy's father were in the hotel room, the latter of whom was sleeping. 

COMMENT: Decades ago, journalists were taught to convey the following in their writing and reporting: What, Why, When, Where, Who and How. Unfortunately, that was then and this is now.

As many of our readers will agree, today's reporters don't necessarily give all of key facts in their reporting, as analysis and opinion dominate journalism. Unfortunately, in the process, many critical facts are omitted.

Gonzales allegedly told authorities she wanted to care for the child, but police are investigating other motives, including possible human trafficking, illegal adoption, etc.

Gonzales was arrested on Thursday (Jun 13) at a rented house where the toddler was found unharmed with Gonzales' East Timorese boyfriend, who is now being questioned by police.

It is unclear as to what role Gonzales played in ending up in the father's hotel room, but they apparently met originally in a bar. 

Many of the details of this abduction don't make a great deal of sense as it is also unclear as to what the father's motives were in terms of his relationship with Gonzales. One can only hope that the father is interviewed in great detail so as to identify his true motives.

As I have said so often in the past, despite efforts for the government in Bali to conceal the level of actual crime, Bali is NOT a low-risk destination where the burglary, assault, robbery and rape is an increasingly frequent occurrence, due largely to a saturation of foreign visitors.

Bali is a province of Indonesia. The province covers a few small neighboring islands as well as the isle of Bali. The main island is located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country's 34 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south end of the island. The population is 4.22 million and home to most of Indonesia's Hindu minority. 

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.