Puerto Plata: The police state!
So, tonight in Puerto Plata there was a convoy of assorted government vehicles going around closing businesses that had plastic chairs on the sidewalk. It was quite the presence as it included vehicles from the PN, Ministry of Alcohol, Ministry of Tourism, some other ministry that I didn't recognize, as well as a flat bed full of military soldiers wielding machine guns.
They seemed to be flexing some muscle of sorts and I'd love to know the reason why. They even shut down the lady selling cerdo con yucca because she had plastic chairs on the sidewalk. Apparently they even confiscated Chalo's license as there was a big round of applause when he returned later and hung it back on the wall.
Talk about totalitarian lunacy. Having plastic chairs on the sidewalk is now a crime? Was it their reaction to 27 of their comrades being arrested for drug offences, or are they trying to destroy the Dominican way of life?
As I left PP, they had closed another road to do the same to another bar.
What gives? If Lambada or any other PP resident would care to fill in the details, I'd love to here it.
In Mexico they're having the same problems with drugs and corruption with VIOLENCE that sooner or later will kill some tourist.....the military is running Cancun...
Cancun's police chief hauled away by Mexican troops | Chronicle | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
Wow, if they do the same in Sosua and Charamicos that for sure will not help tourism. Could be payback for having their buddies arrested.
Originally Posted by Fishguy
I heard that they did a similar sweep in Las Terrenas a month ago - mostly it was closing down businesses that had never paid taxes. There was the "best" pharmacy in town, run by a French woman from Martinique, which had been there for YEARS and never paid taxes-- which now has a big sign on the window in Spanish from the District Attorney - and other from the owner saying "closed for remodeling"
As to the street vendors etc., this may also be following the model used by Guliania when he was mayor of NYC when he cut the murder rate in half in a couple of years -he started at the bottom, ticketing panhandlers, and small illegal street sellers to clean up the streets.
As you may have been reading, the entire police force in Puerto Plata has been sacked for corruption and replaced so they are just doing a sweep up operation to pick up the trash. Should be a much safer place after they finish.
Not to worry.
Last edited by mountainannie; 02-21-2009 at 10:22 AM.
Well it appears to be helping in LT - but the new police chief who is, I believe, a Colonel, is getting a LOT of support from the local business community- (like paying for his ticket to France for vacation, giving him a villa to stay in!) so cleaning up a town is going to take the entire town.
If there are sufficient people who want a safe place to live and a place to raise kids and will help the police fight corruption, then the efforts will succeed. If there are instead more people who think that "tourism" means putas and crack - then that is what they are gonna get.
Depends on the village. It took more than the Marshall to clean up Dodge.It took a posse as well.
Last edited by mountainannie; 02-21-2009 at 11:09 AM.
Ha! Seriously, the entire police force of PP hasn't been fired. Some have, some PN including the local police chief General Calderon Efres who has been replaced by General Then (who we had before & who then went to Santiago. Now he's back.) General Then is known for 'mano duro' & last time he was the boss there were lots of barrio sweeps rounding up anyone & everyone. Generally he is supported by local business people who protested when he was moved after his term here, so they'll be happy that he is back. As well as some PN being arrested for extracting protection money from drug dealers (approx RD$15,000-RD$20,000 a month (some say each week!) from each dealer & I believe they were collecting from approx 300 dealers), some DNCD have been arrested including I believe the DNCD commandante from Sosua. Allegedly some Fiscals are also being investigated but no-one is naming names. On Thursday they dismantled PP's SWAT team & its director is under investigation. They are also investigating the staff at Fortaleza prison.
Originally Posted by mountainannie
So, having arrested a lot of foot soldiers, maybe one day they'll get the 'godfathers'???? Yeah, right.
At the time when the beach fight was going on in Cabarete on the beach at Bambu last weekend, the police took those who didn't need the hospital to the Cabarete jail. Then I'm told a mob appeared to storm the jail to get their buddies out, so Cabarete police called for backup from Sosua & PP. Unfortunately PP police were unable to assist because at that time the 'investigation team' into police corruption had arrived in PP from SD and locked the police in the police station (police were pretty disgruntled about this!)
Puerto Plata Digital
You really couldn't make this stuff up. Anyway what has all this to do with Fishguy's post? I didn't see the events he witnessed (safely at home at the time) but I would agree as to muscle flexing. My hunch is that this isn't much to do with plastic chairs although that would be the nominated 'cause' for the action. What I suspect we're seeing is muscle flexing between SD & PP respective authorities. A sort of police turf war maybe? Either that or mucha espuma y poco chocolate. It eerily reminds me of the time when a team came up from SD and Fiscal Ceballos got killed in Sosua (November 2006). I wish Rocky was still posting because it'd be interesting to see if the same thought had occurred to him. Remember also that as a backdrop there is the Ministerial Conference on Illegal Drug Trafficking currently going on so the Government needs to be seen as making efforts against the drug industry.
Caribbean asks for more help with drugs - DiarioLibre.com
My guess would be that in the short term certainly in PP itself & possibly over the whole province we can expect a fair number of barrio late night roundups. This would be what General Then did before and he achieved some considerable success with lowering crime levels when he was appointed the first time. If anyone is asking my advice and doesn't consider it too cynical or over protective it would be to ensure you are not in the wrong place at the wrong time. Late night visits to PP downtown barrios would not be advisable!
Out of interest, was the security guard in uniform?
No uniform, but it was only 7:30pm in the evening. At that very time the tigres were roaring up and down the Malecon doing wheelies. They (the police) should have been there not in front of the baseball stadium.
Originally Posted by Lambada
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