Thieves who stole an entire bay in Dominican Republic might get away with it

UDATE April 1st, 2013

The president of the minority opposition party Al-Pais on Thursday called the theft of government lands in Bahia de las Aguilas and elsewhere in 1997, "monstrous," and revealed that the case was so serious that even a judge was bribed with a tract of land to rule for then Dominican Agrarian Institute (IAD) director Jaime Rodriguez Guzman.

Guillermo Moreno, who investigated the case in 1997 as National District prosecutor, didn’t mention the name of the judge allegedly bribed, but noted that the case almost failed when he left the post, and in his view prompted Rodriguez’s release.

He stressed that the scheme dealt with ghost homesteads by individuals to scam the government. "The case of Bahia de las Aguilas was a ghost settlement where people were assigned land plots without even having a background in livestock."

Moreno, interviewed on Teleantillas Channel 2, said it was about assigning lands to people, whose titles were then "sold" to the IAD’s own officials. “It was a peasant settlement on land with no agricultural potential.”

As to the fraud against the State, he said the then director of the IAD used as his lawyer, the head of the agency’s legal department, “acting as judge and jury.”

Original story from FEB 12, 2013

DominicanToday.com - Pedernales province (southwest) senator Dionis Sanchez on Sunday announced a "consensus" reached with titleholders in the area of ??Bahia de las Aguilas, for which in the next few days president Danilo Medina will disclose agreements the lawmaker called vital to develop the region.

 

The announcement could confirm fears in many sectors that those who stole government lands in one of the biggest scandals of the 1990s, would get away with it.

"But we want to let president Medina make the announcement to the country in the coming days. Pedernales is waiting and hopes to know that we’re nearing a solution to this more than 15-year conflict and has emasculated this province’s development," the senator said.

Project details

Quoted by diariolibre.com, Sanchez said there's an agreement between the Government and those who claim controversial ownership in the state-owned lands at Bahia de las Aguilas, within the Jaragua National Park, known for its spectacular ecotourism attractions.  In 2004 however, its status was changed to "Protected Panorama” of the subcategory National Recreation Area, under much fewer restrictions.

Medina reportedly issued special powers to his Legal adviser Cesar Pina Toribio, to make the agreement possible, including dropping the charges against former officials and their associates who claim ownership and which led to indictments and scandal during the late president Joaquin Balaguer’s last term (1994-1996).

The government’s decision aims to attract investors willing to develop tourism projects in the country’s south region, for which more than half of the money raised from the land sales would be given to those with titles in the area.

 

Dominican Watchdog Note | After six months as president Danilo Medina could not stand the pressure any longer. He akonwledge to be an integrated part of the corrupt political scene with this move. We will soon see who the real Danilo Medina is and who he owe favours for being elected president! read more about Danilo here

 

Reader comments in Dominican Today:

Written by: MannyTav, 11 Feb 2013 11:07 AM
From: United States
Gotta love this country, they learn quickly from its big neighbors...thievery, greed, immorality, and grand theft are all rewarded. You have $$, you have your own judicial system. We should all stand up and Congratulate the m'fers on learning so fast!
 
Written by: zooma, 11 Feb 2013 11:08 AM
From: United States
Why can't the government steal it back ? That is what government does
 
Written by: lmartinez, 11 Feb 2013 11:44 AM
From: United States
that land belongs to the dominican state , is not private land , is part of a national park .
 
Written by: Perception, 11 Feb 2013 12:03 PM
From: United States
I want to quote this for Mr. Medina.
"Cowards die many times before their death, the valiant
Only taste death once"
Shakespeare.
 
Written by: Rainman, 11 Feb 2013 12:33 PM
From: United States
Thats it am going to steal the Florida Keys next week.....
 
Written by: josean, 11 Feb 2013 12:38 PM
From: United States, Fighting the Dictatorship of the Narco PLD Mafia; Guillermo Moreno President 2016
"Medina reportedly issued special powers to his Legal adviser Cesar Pina Toribio, to make the agreement possible, including dropping the charges against former officials and their associates who claim ownership and which led to indictments and scandal during the late president Joaquin Balaguer’s last term (1994-1996)."
So the Veneer of Honesty Begins to Melt Off Saint Danilo!
Written by: synapse, 11 Feb 2013 1:05 PM
From: United States
Will the 100's of families ever see justice for the land that was stolen from them in the east? Did you know that most of Punta Cana region was stolen from heirs who are too poor to fight the thieves who stole it and sold it to Hotels with false titles out of Higuey Registry Office. Higuey has been a thriving den of thieves stealing land titles just to extort or legally steal it by litigating to death the poor families. Everyday land is stolen with false titles in the DR, nothing has changed in 200 years. It is a total lawless Banana Republic that sets traps out for Foreigners to be deceived by appearance of a civilized democratic society.
Who in their right mind would ever want to invest in this Banana Republic with no legal or government transparency, where you can look forward to legal extortion in Embargo Asaltos and fraudulent land title claims and shake downs by local Mafias?
You have got to be kidding?
 
Written by: Atabey, 11 Feb 2013 1:18 PM
From: United States, NYC
Perhaps Medina is betting on the old: "Be Careful what you wish for, you just might get it"
If these thieves get their chance at "ownership rights" perhaps the taxes and investment requirement may yet make them think how getting ones wish is sometimes more difficult to sustain in reality.
The faster the DR gets into a modern system of deed administration and real taxation, the sooner this mess of titles and deeds will clear up. And yes, the more taxes will flow to the State.
 
Written by: josean, 11 Feb 2013 1:21 PM
From: United States, Fighting the Dictatorship of the Narco PLD Mafia; Guillermo Moreno President 2016
"Perhaps Medina is betting on the old: "Be Careful what you wish for, you just might get it"
"If these thieves get their chance at "ownership rights" perhaps the taxes and investment requirement may yet make them think how getting ones wish is sometimes more difficult to sustain in the reality."
IDIOT IRS Atabey supports all types of alleged modernization gimmicks but never the RULE OF LAW!
 
Written by: rokete, 11 Feb 2013 1:27 PM
From: Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo
Leave that land alone, I want to grow an Iguana farm there, for food consumption.
 
Written by: juanb, 11 Feb 2013 1:56 PM
From: Dominican Republic
Stealing something and getting away with it thanks to government cooperation?
There's a word for that.
 
Written by: josean, 11 Feb 2013 2:04 PM
From: United States, Fighting the Dictatorship of the Narco PLD Mafia; Guillermo Moreno President 2016
Green light for Bahia de las Aguilas development?In what could be a major shift for tourism, the senator for Pedernales, Dionis Sanchez, has confirmed the existence of a commission appointed by President Danilo Medina that reportedly has reached a "consensus" between the government and the people holding land titles in the area of the Bahia de las Aguilas (Bay of Eagles), located in the remote southwestern province.
He told Diario Libre that President Danilo Medina would be reporting on the agreements that have been reached for the tourism development of the southwestern area and the province of Pedernales.
"We want President Medina to make the announcement to the country soon. Pedernales is waiting and it is hoping to know that a solution to this conflict that is more than 15 years old and which has castrated the development of this province is at hand," said the PLD senator.
continued:
 
 
Written by: josean, 11 Feb 2013 2:06 PM
From: United States, Fighting the Dictatorship of the Narco PLD Mafia; Guillermo Moreno President 2016
While tourism projects were proposed when Felix Jimenez was Minister of Tourism in 2006, they were abandoned after the expert he invited from the World Tourism Organization, Francesc Giro, gave an adverse opinion based on the fragile ecosystem of the famous Bahia de las Aguilas beach area.
Max Puig, who was Minister of Environment at the time, opposed building hotel accommodation arguing that impact analyses carried out in Bahia de las Aguilas showed the area was environmentally fragile. Francesc Giro came as a guest of the Ministry of Tourism to examine the possibility of construction in the area and eventually also concluded that the area was extremely fragile.
At the time, Max Puig presented three additional reports that recommended against hotel construction in the area. Puig warned that building hotels in the bay would be a very big mistake. "It could be like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs."
continued:
 
Written by: josean, 11 Feb 2013 2:07 PM
From: United States, Fighting the Dictatorship of the Narco PLD Mafia; Guillermo Moreno President 2016
He stated that an alternative location for development could be the neighboring 17-kilometer stretch of beach from Cabo Rojo to Pedernales.
Read the complete 2006 report in Spanish that ended the discussion about building hotels of any kind in Bahia de las Aguilas at:
soeci.org/bahia/contraleybahia.html
But now it seems that President Danilo Medina backs those who support hotel development in the area.
DR1
 
Written by: juanb, 11 Feb 2013 2:43 PM
From: Dominican Republic
Turning a fragile ecosystem into a tourist area?
There's a word for that.
 
Written by: RonEvane, 11 Feb 2013 4:36 PM
From: United States, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Pay off the thieves, just to get them out of the way.
The land can keep its "National Park" status and tourism can be developed.There is certain to be areas where it's safe to build hotels without harming the ecosystem.
Anyone who wants to explore the South West, can climb on a mule and spend the next few days admiring the beauty of this area.
We can have our cake and eat it, too!
 
Written by: generoso, 11 Feb 2013 4:41 PM
From: United States, Quisqueya
What is the real meaning of a "fragile ecosystem"?
Does that mean the fricken turtles will not be laying their eggs on the beach any more?
These eggheads from conservation groups forget one thing: There are PEOPLE dying in the DR south from malnutrition, preventable diseases, and just plain low quality of life.
I say develop the damn area, but keep the hotels far away from building close to it.
I have been to Bahia de las Aguilas several times, and you can't even get water, since there is NOTHING there.
I backed the president on this one, and are watching closely his next move.
 
Written by: DomRat, 11 Feb 2013 7:55 PM
From: Dominican Republic

Let's not pussy foot around. Let's see the Names - who are these 'new owners' who have stolen the lands. Must be some heavy party backers. Good deals offered to Hotel chains/cruise ship operators/real estate pools BY THE GOVERNMENT, would bring investment. If it was stolen who from as I have not heard any squeling from anyone, not that that is important to blind justice. If it was government lands then it is taken from the people at large to enrich the few owners/developers with a few low pay step and fetch it jobs as a bone to the masses. Need to have low paid smiling maids and bar tenders for the 'tourists' to enjoy. Senator Dionis Sanchez announced a "consensus" reached with which titleholders in the Bahia de las Aguilas area?, Need I ask if he has .a stake in the venture?

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