|The Photo: Héctor Ramón Medina López, assassinated by the police on May 12
(pslweb.org) - On June 12 through 14, the people of the city of Salcedo in the central north of the Dominican Republic took to the streets to protest what they are calling the assassination of baseball player and community member Héctor Ramón Medina López.
Just a month before, on May 12, Medina was fatally shot by the police in the chest while on a motorcycle with his friend Cesar Rene Garcia, who was shot in the leg. The police never offered a reason for the shooting. The community's demand for an explanation as to why this beloved member of their community was killed was met with the utmost brutality as the National Police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators killing four and wounding more than 20. Dozens of others were unjustly imprisoned.
One of the more savage scenes caught on tape exposed police roughing up a group of protesters en route to the hospital. Two young men carried a third protester who was wounded by police gun fire in the stomach. The police can be seen stopping the moped, beating the three men and forcing the injured man to walk to the hospital. He died shortly after.
FALPO (Frente Amplio de Lucha Popular) leader Darío Camilo outlined the series of assaults and killings of civilians by the Dominican police, describing "the brutality as a type of witch hunt against anyone who dares to protest against the government."
Both the Dominican media and the president, Leonel Fernández, have remained quiet, failing to utter even a word in response to the police massacre. The National Commission on Human Rights has committed 200 lawyers, if need be, to investigate and determine "those responsible for the cruel, inhuman and degrading acts that not only violate the Dominican constitution but are also violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as seven pacts and international convents that the Dominican Republic is a party to.”
This intense repression follows a consistent pattern of police brutality, intimidation and violence in response to the Dominican people's just outcry for increased social services and a halt to the rising cost of public university tuition and transportation. The state is sending a clear message meant to halt all protest and prevent the unity of different affected sectors of the population.
The police violence there is all too similar to the brutality that we suffer here from the Bronx to South Central every day at the hands of the police. The murders of Trayvon Martin and Ramarley Graham are all too similar to the murders the Dominican state continues to carry out. The Party for Socialism and Liberation stands in solidarity with the FALPO and the popular organizations of the Dominican Republic and their demands for the prosecution of the responsible parties to the massacre, from the head of the national police to the president of the republic.
Outgoing president leaves legacy of “characteristic” poverty
DominicanToday.com - President Leonel Fernandez’ legacy of poverty and governance for Danilo Medina is a climate of relative stability with 35% poverty; 14.4% unemployment and a fiscal deficit which economists see as high as RD$115.0 billion by the end of this year.
Economy minister Temistocles Montas in May said one of Medina Administration’s priorities will be to reduce Dominican Republic’ “characteristic” poverty and social inequality.
Although the official hailed a 10 point drop in poverty during Fernandez’s tenure during the last eight years, admitted it’s still too high. "I think we need to focus efforts in this direction, this implies that there has to be an outstanding economic performance to effectively reduce poverty in Dominican Republic."
To achieve this goal, the official said Medina will have to make a greater effort to create quality jobs in thriving industries such as tourism, free zones, agriculture and manufacturing.
Fernandez admits shortcomings
In his most recent speech to the National Assembly Fernandez said that 500,000 people were taken out of poverty by his economic and social policies in the last eight years.
Recently Spain said the country’s average growth of 7.2% over the past eight years makes it one of Latin America and the world’s strongest developing economies.
"Of course I have to acknowledge that Dominican Republic is a country that has to continue working to reduce poverty and social inequality, and create opportunities for all citizens," Fernandez said.
Useless President leaves office full of broken promises - The Amin Abel Liberation Front says the students were shot late Tuesday during a demonstration against a rise in tuition and a new enrollment fee at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo - The problem is that the rich like to keep the poor ignorant in order to control the country's resources.....
Economist Pavel Isa said that the head of state would leave a fundamentally negative legacy especially in terms of institutionalism and the cost of the debt.
Dominican Watchdog Note | And this is how Leonel Fernandez leave office after his third term. Shame on you old man!! Read more about Leonels failures here