|By Nadette De Visser|
Amsterdam — On the morning of Sept. 18, Derk Wiersum, the public defender for a key witness against the international drug kingpin Ridouan Taghi, was walking to his car with his wife in a quiet suburb of Amsterdam when he was shot and killed.
The murder of the 44-year-old Wiersum, who left two children behind, represented a new and dangerous threshold of violence here that shocked not only the public, but the entire judicial system. For the first time in Dutch history the criminal world murdered a legal representative of the state itself.
This is the Netherlands 2019, not Sicily 1992, but the assassination of a dedicated public servant like Wiersum attests to the sense of impunity gangsters in Amsterdam currently enjoy, and appears to be part of a strategy to intimidate not only Dutch state representatives but Dutch society as a whole.
Ironically, the Netherlands has seen a decrease in murders and overall violent crime, but there is a deep sense of urgency among Dutch police as they face the growing power of criminal networks on Dutch soil.
“The Netherlands is at risk of becoming a narco state,” Dutch Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus warned in August. The cops are concerned they are losing their grip. Some say they have lost it already.
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