Wikileaks reveals corruption scandal
Wikileaks published documents in which high government officials are accused of brutal corruption practices. These documents are from American investors who reported to the embassy, that with great promises and assurances they were persuaded to set up multi-million projects in the Dominican Republic. After this they were brutally put under pressure to pay bribes from thousands to millions of dollars to various officials. In one case, the (former) Director of the airports `Aeropuertos Dominicanos Sigl XXI (Aerodom)`, Mr. Andrés Van Der Horst, who, after the sale of the airports demanded all sorts of privileges for himself and his relatives (no export taxes and no costs for stocking shipments of agricultural products). When the new operator (Advent International) refused, they were visited by a General (Jaime Bears), who laid a pistol on the table and said: `I am here to negotiate between you and my boss`. Andrés Van Der Horst demanded bribes in the amount of five million pesos ($ 143,000).
The company `Forbes Energy` would invest 700 million U. S. dollars to build an ethanol plant. Part of the sugar factories in the country were closed for the fall in sugar prices, and should be re-opened and therefore could have returned to create jobs. The (former) Minister of Tourism Félix Jiménez asked, however, 10 million dollars (bribes) for a smooth implementation of the necessary permits.
Of course, these corrupt practices were brought under the attention of President Leonel FernÁndez, but this has not yet led to any action against the corrupt officials. On the contrary, Andrés Van Der Horst is now chairman of the PLD party, the party of the president. The former tourism minister was appointed by the President to be the Ambassador in the United States. But the United States were against it and threatened to deny him his visa.
The report, published by Wikileaks, also mentioned that some surveys were made under the Dominican population. It showed that 82% of the population have nothing against the corruption and that 67% of the respondents know family members or friends who have accepted the bribes. Thus these corrupt practices appear to be deeply rooted in the Dominican Republic.
Category: DR News |