US Diplomat Missing in Curacao

Tourist section of the Willemstad harbor in Cu...Image via Wikipedia

October 3 update here and previous update here.

Netherlands Antilles newspapers are reporting the disappearance of an American diplomat assigned to the U.S. Consulate General Curacao. The diplomat identified as James Hogan, 49, reportedly disappeared on Thursday evening, (September 24) after he attended a reception at the American Consulate.

Police statement reported on September 29 says that “On Friday morning, at 09.00 a.m., Mrs. Hogan reported that her husband was missing. The evening before he left his home and never returned. He left his home to go for a walk.” It is reported here that local authorities are assisted by the” Dutch Forensic Investigation Team from the Forensic Institute of The Netherlands since last Sunday.” And that they also have at their disposal “four dogs trained especially in the realm of finding missing persons which were provided by said Dutch Forensic Institute of The Netherlands.”

St. Maarten Island News reported the search for James Hogan on September 28. The following day it published information released by the local police. Yesterday, it reported that the FBI and the State Department have joined the search for the missing diplomat.

The State Department says that “Vice Consul James Hogan left his residence last Thursday and has not been heard from since, and we continue to work this with Curaçaoan authorities.”

According to State Department info the Consulate General Curaçao represents U.S. interests to three governmental authorities: the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the autonomous Netherlands Antilles, and the quasi-independent country of Aruba. The consular district includes six islands and spreads over a distance of 500 miles. It is the destination of millions of American tourists each year, the home of about 6,000 U.S.-citizen residents, and the location of over $1 billion of American investments. There are important – and sometimes urgent – consular and representational demands on the post for all the islands, including the farthest and smallest.

The OIG report from 2008 indicates that Curaçao is a 15 percent cost of living post and a three-year, two rest and recuperation, assignment. Entry-level officers (ELOs) get a two-year tour with one rest and recuperation break. It is considered a medium threat for crime post. And that this usually manifests particularly towards tourists in Curaçao.

Curaçao, an “independent mission” within the Western Hemisphere Bureau has 27 direct-hire and eligible family member personnel and 13 LE staff personnel. Of the 27 direct hire employees, 23 are employees from different agencies. Mr. Hogan is listed as the consulate’s political/economic/consular officer. He is one of the four State Department direct-hire employees at the US Consulate General in Curacao.

Related Items:

  • Report No. ISP-I-08-16, Limited-Scope Inspection of Consulate General Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles – March 2008 | PDF