Crime and government goes hand in hand in Dominican Republic
Uptowncollective.com – There is something happening in the Dominican Republic.
What IT is? No one is certain for sure. The one thing you should know is that, first of all, it isn’t going to abate anytime soon. It is not going to die down. Some would argue that if the demands of the people are not met, the situation might worsen dramatically.
There is a profound discontent in the Dominican Republic that the national elections earlier this year did not, and could not, ameliorate. In fact, it exacerbated the problem because the issue is bigger than any one party. It is endemic.
The system is broken.
It simply does not function for the majority of people in the country. Far too little people profit far too grotesquely from the wealth of the nation. While the masses are struggling, scrambling for every penny and eking out a meager existence, vile parasites at the very top live like landed gentry.
According to the 2011 Corruption index from Transparency International, the Dominican Republic is ranked an abysmal 129th. We are more corrupt and less transparent than Iran, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan.
To add insult to injury, the Dominican government recently approved a fiscal reform package on Saturday that raises the national sales tax from 16 to 18 percent. The brunt of the new taxes that will also be imposed on liquor, cigarettes, fuel and just about everything else will be felt disproportionately by the middle class and the poor. All the while, the new measures fail to address the runaway spending that government functionaries despicably indulge in. Many in the country, and outside of it, believe that government funds were used to secure another term in office for the ruling party.
Acento.com.do – Small and medium-scale industry representatives are calling for major changes in the role of government that they consider has become the epicenter of the great corruption scandals and other ways of crime that affect Dominican society. As reported in acento.com.do the Herrera Association of Industries (AEIH) and the Federation of Industrial Associations (FAI) deplored the fact that citizens linked to government are ever present in cases of assault, robbery, drug trafficking, fraud, corruption and violence.
Wadi Cano Acra of the AEIH and Ignacio Mendez (FAI) criticized the indifference of the government, the private sector and society in general given the challenge to fundamentally reform the Police, the military and the state prosecution to effectively fight crime.
“Diagnostics, studies and projects are abundant on the issue. Debates have been as extensive as unproductive, while the country is in a state of panic because of street violence, in which military and police collude. Society is disgusted by the plunder by some officers who see their positions as a way to get rich,” they warned.
They said that the government sends very negative signs to society when impunity allows the gathering of wealth based on violence and plunder of the Treasury, despite the country having one of the most advanced sets of anti-corruption and transparency laws.
“We have become a country where laws are violated, including by the government itself, and nothing happens; in an international haven for international criminals and nothing happens; multiple complains of irregularities in the use of public funds are evidenced by multiple allegations of wrongdoing by public funds presented by journalistic investigative reports and nothing happens. We face a profound crisis of the systems of consequences that make us wonder what good are laws,” reflected the two business entities.
“We are losing our sense of awe and this may lead to dissolution and anarchy, to a general state of violence where investment is discouraged, and that will make it difficult to create jobs while it threatens governance. No more indifference,” proclaimed the business organizations, as reported in acento.com.do
CNN.com – When a President rob his own country where is the world power to protect its citizens?
After a mandate characterized by rampant estate spending, politicians getting lavish houses and cars, pensions of about USD$12,500 a month for top party officials for four years of work while still having a thousand of dollars government job in another position (Minimum wage is a little over $200), crazy salary hikes, blatant clientelism and tax evasion, millions and millions in government money to fund the official party’s presidential campaign, and many other things, the party ends and the people have to pay the bill.
The congress has approved a fiscal reform that basically screws the people, raising taxes in general and taxing basic food items, as well as small internet purchases that were one of the few ways to circumvent the abusive local retailers (You’d have to pay double the online price + shipping for basically anything), and this also goes against the DR-CAFTA agreement.
This problem isn’t solved by taxing, it’s solved by making those responsible pay. Not a single politician has been put in jail or even tried, even those for whom there is incontrovertible evidence of ghastly instances of fraud and corruption. Today the reform was approved by a government controlled Congress in just 19 minutes with no room for debates. Dissenting congressmen were silenced and not given the opportunity to speak. A student was killed during riots in the state university and it’s believed to be the first of several deaths in the near future.
All because a central figure named Leonel Fernandez, until 84 days ago the President of 12 years, personally controls all of the State Powers: Government, Congress and Supreme Court. He also controls most of the media, so even the fourth state is under his power. It’s ironic since countries like Canada gave him an award as Statesman of the Year and named him “the Oracle of Santo Domingo” all because he let a canadian-based gold mining corporation named Barrick started raping the land and destroying the environment of the island. The people have had enough and we need your help. Let us help make some noise so the eyes of the world get turned on our small country.
Read more on this topic on Dominican Watchdog
Category: DR Living |