Aruba Country Report
Aruba has a modern and well-developed infrastructure by regional standards and a business-friendly operational environment. Aruba is likely to attract foreign direct investment in the financial services, oil, and tourism industries in the one-year outlook. The country’s bureaucracy is relatively efficient and corruption levels are low by regional standards. Aruba still plays a significant role as an offshore centre for drug-related money laundering, although the government has taken concrete steps to fight organised crime, including legislation for Prevention and Combating of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (LWTF), which foresees strict rules relating to customer due diligence, client identification and verification, and the reporting of unusual transactions.
There is no specific terrorist threat in Aruba, and no threat from domestic or home-grown groups. There is a very low risk of international terrorism targeting Western interests such as bars, nightclubs, shops, restaurants, or other places where expats and tourists may gather, but there are no indications that Aruba has ever constituted a target or base of operations for terrorist groups. The Aruban Port Authority has taken measures to boost port security, working in partnership with maritime security and counter-terrorism consultancy SeaSecure to assess the risk of terrorism in the island's strategic ports.
One of the main domestic security issues in Aruba revolves around street and opportunistic crime, which is low by regional standards. The territory has a high number of tourists in relative terms to other Caribbean nations, with most of its local labour force engaged in the tourist industry. Casual crime against property is, therefore, attractive to local criminals, although violent crime directed at tourists or other foreign visitors is rare. Main tourist areas are generally safe.
Overall, there are no significant external threats to the island beyond the spread of COVID-19. Relations have deteriorated in the past between the Netherlands, Aruba, and the then-Netherlands Antilles on the one hand, and Venezuela under late president Hugo Chávez – who suggested in 2010 that Aruba and Curaçao could be used by the United States as a springboard for an invasion in that country. Relations since 2010 improved based on trade, however Venezuela closed the countries' mutual aerial and maritime border in February 2019 for alleged security reasons. In July 2019, Aruba also refused to reopen the border to prevent Venezuelan illegal migration.