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Saturday, December 18, 2010

WikiLeaks show bribes and corruption still dominate Dominican Republic

12/18/10, Santo Domingo: "WikiLeaks has been responsible for giving the worst blow for many years to the image of cleanliness of the Dominican government to open diplomatic cables Americans in Santo Domingo that involve state officials in alleged extortion and gross investment.
  • Suddenly, Andrés Vanderhorst, the man who became "big" in the shadow of Jacbo Majluta, has been placed in the public pillory for one of the cables WikiLeaks by pointing a U.S. diplomat as an alleged corrupt cash payments required in terms of millions of investors.

It has also been mentioned, almost in the worst way, Felix Jimenez, one of the founders of the Dominican Liberation Party, which came close to imitating the voice of Professor Juan Bosch, the historic leader of the organization.

  • Several cables presumably prepared by the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic, published by WikiLeaks and published by the Spanish newspaper Elpais.com, knees placed the image of cleanliness of government to corruption practically reproached, which would be involved frontline staff administration.

These officials, in the publication, obstacles would force foreign investors to pay bribes and others simply require that they pay money to allow the establishment of companies.

  • WikiLeaks has put in trouble the government of Leonel Fernandez will now have to speak clearly on these allegations.

Another detail is that it has reinforced the widespread perception that corruption is the norm in government."

  • ####

ORGE MARIRRODRIGA Madrid - 17/12/2010 [/ B] / Elpais

The United States believes that the climate of corruption in the Dominican Republic to foreign investment left at the mercy of government officials demanding bribes in a "bold" in a country where surveys show that people accept this kind of facts.

Some U.S. investors have even received threats, and corrupt officials have been promoted to positions of greater responsibility.

The complaints are directed against the Dominican government, "which is successful in attracting investment through good public relations with rhetoric in favor of business, and even signing contracts with favorable terms for foreign investors, when in fact the outlook for investors is embroiled with foreign brokers and a corrupt legal framework conducive to satisfy the whims of public officials, "according to reports sent to include Washington.

The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo is particularly the case echoes of the securities firm Advent International, whose executives explained to U.S. officials in mid-2009 for the inconvenience, threats and demands for bribes suffered when purchased Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI (Aerodom), licensee management from airports in the Caribbean country. It was the first of many investments that Advent intended to do in Dominican Republic and was formalized in October 2008. "Only seven months after \ [one of the officers of the company] told a political counselor of the embassy that Advent would make no further investment in the country and helped reinforce Aerodom in six or seven years," said in a report Charge d'Affaires Richard Goughnour.

Aerodom owners, as related by the embassy, pointing to an official, Andres Van Der Horst, director of the Airport Commission, the government body that oversees the operation of the concession. After several very negative reports by the commission, Van der Horst demanded that the airport free storage of agricultural export products, a sector in which the Dominican official has family interests. Given the refusal, the directors received the visit of General Jaime Bears, who placed a gun on the table, said: "I come to settle an outstanding account between you and my boss." Soon after, reports the cable sent to Washington, Van der Horst explicitly demanded a bribe of five million Dominican pesos, about $ 143,000. The complaints came to some ministers, who acknowledged that the official was corrupt. Finally took action on the matter the president, Leonel Fernandez, who said he would be instructed to retract Van der Horst. Aerodom owners stressed that the involvement of Fernandez was "helping." Today, Van der Horst is director of the National Competitiveness Council (This is a confusion, because this is the son of the officer in question and who has never been on the Airport Commission. Note TODAY) and Advent International is managing the Santo Domingo airport.

Corruption for an ethanol plant. In another report, Ambassador Robert Fannin relates the odyssey that Forbes Energy Company went through in 2008 to get the permissions of an ethanol production plant, with 700 million dollars, would be one of the largest foreign investments in the country and the largest private nature in the field of biofuels in the world. \ [Managers] are facing unnecessary delays interpreted as indications for bribes by government officials. Also had two requirements have direct high-level officials for cash payments." According to the cable, the former minister of tourism, Félix Jiménez, offered to pave the way in exchange for 10 million dollars. An assistant defense minister made a similar request. To complicate matters further, the document reflects the concerns that the project can be held hostage to the rivalry between two senior officials, Radhames Segura, vice president of the Dominican government agency utilities and Minister of Economy, Temistocles Montas, "in those which are rumored to have presidential ambitions. "

Ambassador Fannin expressed in the document concern the fact that Jimenez Minister to be appointed ambassador to Washington and intends to revoke the visa of entry into the USA for corruption. Jimenez was removed from government in 2008 and was not nominated the U.S. ambassador, since it occupies Roberto Saladin. The company was finally able to start business.

The reports sent to Washington on corruption in the Dominican Republic extended in time and in 2007 highlights how a survey reflects the general tolerance of the population to this type of practice. 82% of Dominicans then considered corruption as tolerable and 67% had a family member or friend who had paid bribes to speed up administrative processes. At the same time the U.S. reports explain the various legal measures adopted by Leonel Fernandez, who came to power in 2004 to combat corruption. And a cable states in its conclusions:

"While corruption has more impact than ever in the minds of the Dominican population, there has been little real progress in the fight against it. The culture of impunity is weakening, but the prospect of effective punishment has not progressed much. ""

12/18/10 from Primicias Digital, "WikiLeaks gives the worst blow to the RD government," by Robert Vargas. google translation from Spanish.

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