Dominicans arm themselves to face all the violence

  • In just two weeks 48 Dominicans lost their lives to firearms
SANTO DOMINGO. In the face of the advance of criminality in the country, it seems that the Dominicans have decided to purchase weapons for themselves for their defense, which is demonstrated by the 298,432 legally registered firearms at the Ministry of the Interior and the Police.

In February of this year, Interior and Police only had 203,394 firearms registered, and from then until now there has been an increase of 95,038.

The majority of these weapons have carry permits for their owners, according to investigations carried out by Diario Libre and were obtained for their defense against the criminality which has lately been on the increase in the country.

When it comes time to renew these permits, the government will receive RD$2.0 billion at the beginning of each year, but there are ever more voices raised up that are saying instead of more permits, they should proceed to disarm the population.

The Minister of Interior and the Police himself, Jose Ramon Fadul, complained of the enormous number of firearms in the possession of the people, and added that he is in agreement to a general disarmament but done slowly.

Joining this worry yesterday was the vicar of the Youth Pastoral Movement, Father Luis Rosario, who feels that this disarmament should be overall, due to the fact that the use of weapons generates violence.

Rosario explained that firearms are instruments of death and may persons use them without control or responsibility.

Likewise, the firearms expert, Juan Alberto del Rosario, a former officer in the Armed Forces, says that illegal firearms in the possession of the people number more than 300,000 and adds to this number the number given out by Police and Armed Forces members to "friends" of these institutions through what is known as the Form 25.

According to del Rosario, the majority of weapons are given out by the military institutions and the Police to people that have nothing to protect and they are assigned to friends of the chiefs of the moment or to persons recommended by politicians of the party that at the time is in power.

The deaths

In the last few days, the social violence has increases, and in this aspect Edwin Mateo Machuco was killed by seven shots that were made by his childhood friend Luis Rafael Diaz Mora.

In Haina, the police reported the shooting deaths of Victor Bautista, 37 and the worker Andres Montaño Baez.

In a like manner, several men still unidentified shot and killed the Customs official Diogenes Leandro Paulino Gomez three times and took the pistol that he carried with a legal permit.

In Las Cañitas, several men mercilessly shot against a multitude, killing Osvaldo Ozuna instantaneously, last Sunday.

In San Francisco de Macoris, a man named Fabian Antonio Gonzalez (Polo) gave a loaded weapon to a five year old boy and told him to shoot Arsenio Diaz Rodriguez, killing him instantly.

Last Saturday, in Villa Altagracia, two men, still unidentified, killed the Police sergeant, Casimiro de jesus Acevedo and in Haina, two policemen shot it out, with both men and the wife of one of them dying in the incident.

The same thing happened to Fausto Del Monte, Braulio Rodriguez, Maritza del Rosario and Alejandro Gonzalez, shot dead last Friday and Saturday in incidents which occurred in Santiago, Boca Chica, La Romana and the National District.

Last 22 May, a jealous man committed suicide after killing his wife Felicita Perez Vasquez and his son Wellington Guzman Perez and wounded his step-daughter-who was pregnant by him-and who a few days later lost the baby from the gunshot wound she received in her belly.

The president of the Senate asks of the population to be disarmed

The Senate president, Reinaldo Pared Perez said he was in agreement with the disarmament of persons that possess firearms, but it has to be directed basically at those that carry weapons illegally, such as the case of the criminals.

In this sense, he called on the competent authorities to work hard to pursue those that have illegal firearms. He said that if a citizen fulfills what is laid out in Law 36, he should not be bothered regarding "carrying his weapon," because in this case with this person there are no issues.

Nonetheless, he pointed out that "the authorities should work hard to pursue those criminals that in the majority or nearly all the cases use illegal firearms to carry out their criminal activity."

Pared Perez said that "I understand that if a citizen obtains a weapon legally for the protection of his person or his property, I do not see any issues for him to have it."

The Senate president called for, in addition, that all those that carry a firearm and do not pay their taxes to have their weapon seized.

"Take them away," if they do not fulfill the requirements, for carrying a weapon and even those that use them to "look good," said the senator from the National District.

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