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Five bars in Colonial City to be closed

In Villa Juana the two Chichíos and the Cuatro As

SANTO DOMINGO. The Ministry of the Interior and of the Police reported yesterday that they will close down, for a period of 20 days, five discotheques in the Colonial City, including the Bar Mi Loka on Sanchez St. Number 255 and another three in Villa Juana/. In the meantime another 23 will be notified of several complaints which residents of the area have filed.

Besides Mi Loka, which was included after the complaint which was echoed in a press conference last week, they added the discotheque-bars Bar Cacibajagüa on Sanchez 201, Le Studio Lounge, on Sanchez at the corner of Mercedes; Mojiganga Bar, on Mercedes 154, as well as Discoteca Encuentro Artesanal, which is located on Arzobispo Meriño 407.

In the meantime, in Villa Juana they ordered the closure of the bars Chichío El Imperio and Chichío Pequeño and the 4 As Market.

During the meeting held at the headquarters of Interior and Police, the Ministry of the Environment, the Association of Neighborhood Watches in the Colonial City, the Colonial Pastoral, the Association of Ciudad Ovando, the Attorney General of the Republic, two bar owners identified as La Espiral and Bar Café de Toi, as well as other neighborhood groups from the area were all in attendance.

The Minister of the Interior and of the Police, Jose Ramon Fadul, said that the bars that were temporarily closed have already received three notifications for different reasons, among other for blocking the public roads, parking on the sidewalks, and noise. This last one is the principle cause of the closures.

He said, nonetheless, that "the closure of bars cannot be taken like a wave of closures against sacrificial lambs." He said that "the Colonial City needs to revive by conserving families and permitting the commercial activities to develop."

The Ministry of Tourism, the National District city council and the National Police were absent from the meeting.

Follow up commission

Besides the closures the Ministry ordered the formation of a "Follow up commission" that will watch the behavior of the bar. The commission is composed of Louis Broker of the Association of Ciudad Ovando, Mercedes Coste, the president of the Union of Neighborhood Watches of the Colonial City, the Association of Neighborhood Boards of Ciudad Nueva, the Association of Street Sellers, the bar owners, Yan Carlos Estrella, Jose Carlos Oviedo, Odalis Robles Rodriguez, as well as members of the different neighborhood groups of the sector.

Also on the commission are Jose Martinez Chain, of the Volunteer Council which backs the local prosecutors, and Carmen Nuñez, the chief prosecutor for the Ministry of the Environment.

The representation of the Union of Neighborhood Boards of the Colonial City demanded that the police presence in the area be improved; and that they provide more monitoring of the "colmadones" which operate in the area; they complained also that many places are operating without any signage, which makes one question their legality.

At the same time, the Association of Ciudad Ovando, which includes 22 commercial entities, indicated that it supported the complaints of the residents.