“The killers for hire are common criminal that everyone knows”
SANTO DOMINGO. To get an assassin in the country appears to be easy, in spite of the seriousness of the crime. “All you have to do is say you need the services of these people, and right away two will show up to offer it to you. You don’t see it because you are not thinking about this, but try it and you’ll see.”
This expression comes from the central director of Department for Handling Groups in Conflict with the Law of the National Police, Saturnino Lora Ureña, who does not skip over the moral decomposition that exists in society, as the principle cause of a practice that has taken the life of many Dominicans. Just in the press there has been mentioned at least 20 cases of contract killings over the past two years, in some of which there was more than one victim.
In those cases, the lives of the persons cost amounts that go from US$1000, some RD$43,000, up to RD$500,000, although there was one of these crimes in which a million and a half pesos were paid. This was the case of Alejandro Acosta Soto, murdered in February 2013, on Abraham Lincoln Avenue in the capital, whose death was paid for with RD$1.6 million.
According to information from the Police at that time, the killing was orchestrated by a gang of former police officers which was supposedly at the service of drug traffickers.
Colonel Lora Ureña, who has nearly 30 years of service in the National Police, says that contact with persons that kill for money is not difficult, since the killer is the same person who commits common crimes and that everyone knows in the barrio. In the majority, the killer-for-hire has a record for some other crime.
“He is the same guy that will shoot you for your purse or billfold…, and you know that the people know them because when the Police go to arrest someone, it is the neighbors that complain saying that they took an innocent person because “so-and-so” are the ones doing that (type of crime,” he adds.
Another point of contact that he cite are the jails. He says that those interested in taking the life of another, use the judicial processes and the visits to the prisons in order to approach persons that are will to carry out their “errand.”
The criminal lawyer Carlos Balcacer, who has defended several persons tied to cases of this type, guves us a sort of profile.
The workers in the business of hired killers are revealed by scientific statistics as having several structural traits that always accompany them: age, amount of schooling, and the socio-labor nucleus to which they belong.” He says that normally they are persons that are between 15 and 30 years of age, rarely passing 40, due to the fact that “for such deeds there are abilities and personal skills required that reside in the age of the human body and therefore in the mental age of the actor (killer).”
But the lawyer does not believe that the killers-for-hire are just common criminals and he thinks that there are many that are professions, that live on this alone.
The killings for pay committed in the country in recent days were carried out by former policemen. The individuals Jose Marcial Cuello Soto (Prieto) and Yorkis Alberto (Cocky), accused of shooting the municipal councilman from Bayaguana, Renato de Jesus Castillo las week, are two ex-cops that belonged to the Police “team.”
In the deaths of young Suleika Flores Guzman and Natasha Sing, which happened at the beginning of the year, two former policemen, companions of Cuello Soto and of Yorkis when they still wore the uniform, took part: Johnny Senceion Gomez and Jesus Manuel Mendoza Benitez (El Patron).
Colonel Lora Ureña considers that the cases of former policemen involved are isolated. He explains that this happens a lot of times due to the contact between the policemen and the criminals they have to deal with.
However, he reminded reporters that the police are no more than an expression of society, with the same weaknesses, the same frailties, living in the back of the barrio, and feeling the same misery and un-met necessities as the rest.
He reiterates the phrase “known killer” and he attributes it to the Penal Process Code and its guarantees that he feels are for more developed societies. “In this country, the people do not have a proper address, and nobody knows the exact name of someone else, but rather their nickname, and for these reasons the judge released the accused,” he commented.
Deputies asks Senate to approve the second reading of the Penal Code
Deputies from the Dominican Liberation Party for Monte Plata, Ricardo Contreras and from the Dominican Revolutionary Party for the province of Santo Domingo, Luis Sanchez, questioned the existence of these killers for hire because “this has become an industry in the country.” They asked the Senate to approve the second reading of the Penal Code which penalizes such crimes with a 40 year sentence.
Contreras admitted that the deputies did “only half of the job” by categorizing killing-for-hire in the legislative proposal that modifies several articles of the Penal Code, and in which they only gave just 40 years in prison for this crime.
Both he and Sanchez regretted the murder of the councilman for the PLD in Bayaguana, Renato Castillo, which has produced the arrest of seven persons. “There can be no justice if impunity is present.”
Where does this killing-for-hire come from in this country? In some state institutions, by which we mean the National Police, is the famous “take ‘em down”, said Sanchez. He said that when he heard about thd murder of the councilman from Bayaguana he thought “we have touched bottom”, and he condemned the fact that contradictions between PLD political leaders resulted in this crime for which the pay was RD$400,000.
Category: DR News |