Criticism for Leonel Fernandez down playing corruption in DR

  • They call on the President to listen to the alert from society
SANTO DOMINGO. A senator from the government's party, members of the opposition and representatives of the civil society criticized yesterday that President Leonel Fernandez would minimize the corruption in the country. Among these voices was the Dominican Confederation of Evangelical Unity (Codue), which in spite of being one of the entities that presented 30 anti-corruption proposals, assured reporters that they would not be carried out.

"The perception is not correct, we don't say it is, there are studies on how many thousands we are losing, money that can be used in social work, to build houses, feed the poor, and the corruption is taking it all. We cannot talk of micro-corruption; here we have to talk of macro-corruption"", said the Codue president, reverend Reynaldo Franco.

The PLD senator, Wilton Guerrero, said that the corruption should not be minimized because the population sees it as large when it sees an official that used to live poorly, in a rented house and the children in public schools, going around in luxurious vehicles, living in a sumptuous house and exhibiting all kinds of wealth.

The day before yesterday, Fernandez said that in the country there was no hyper-corruption or organized system of promoting corruption. Although he admitted that there is corruption in the government, he said that that it also exists in the different levels of society.

The assistant spokesman for the bloc of the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD) in the Chamber of Deputies, Alberto Atallah, indicated that the World Economic Forum evaluated the Dominican Republic, and placed it at 131 out of 133 nations that were studied regarding corruption, waste of public funds, nepotism and lying.

Likewise, the spokesman for the group of deputies from the Social Christian Reformist Party (PRSC) in the Lower Chamber, Ramon Rogelio Genao, called corruption "a systemic evil" in the country.

The political scientist Antinoe Fiallo understands that this (the President's statement) is the result of a self-serving interpretation with relation to the course of Dominican politics. "We understand perfectly well that an important part of the capitalist accumulation of wealth has been fed by this mechanism of corruption that is developing within the political system", he said.

Question of perception

In spite of the criticisms, the District Attorney for the National District, Alejandro Moscoso Segarra, said that the State's agencies for persecution have a firm will to fight corruption and crime.

He alleged that the perception that is held regarding these crimes is greater than the cases that cause the perception.

Anti-corruption proposals

In a document containing 30 proposals presented by the Anti-Corruption Participatory Initiative, the fact that less than 10% of the public tenders comply with the law stands out.

Also, the document says that the ministries of State and the administrators of public entities have little knowledge on how to manage public funds, and the contracts of Public Works are handled in tight-lipped silence.

It goes on to criticize both the educational and judicial sectors.

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