After three years on the run, Argenis Contreras is expected back on 20 January

Argenis Contreras, a key man among those accused in the murder of lawyer and university professor Yuniol Ramírez Ferreira in 2017, is expected to be deported here from New York this Wednesday, 20 January 2021. While Contreras was arrested in the US in 2018, it was not until this week that a US court authorized his deportation.

It is suspect that Ramírez was murdered to impede him from releasing information he had on corruption at the Metropolitan Bus Company (Omsa), the government bus corporation. On 12 October 2017, Ramírez’s body was found with his neck chained to a block inside a stream in Manoguayabo, Santo Domingo West.

It is known that Contreras took a flight from Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo to Miami on the same day of the murder. He was a fugitive of justice until he was arrested on 11 April 2018 in a migration action by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. His tourism visa was expired.

Contreras would file a plea in the United States against his deportation order, alleging that his life would be in danger. He appealed his deportation on the grounds that he knew too much about the complicities in the murder case and would be killed. In 2018, National District prosecutor Rosalba Ramos said that Contreras was an advisor to both Yuniol Ramírez and Omsa director Manuel Rivas on the corruption charges, as reported in Diario Libre.

Contreras is expected to testify why the killing was carried out and give insights into who fired the shots and who planned and ordered the killing. The preliminary hearing in his case is scheduled for the Fourth Court of the National District on 29 January 2021.

The Justice Department had pressed charges against him and asked the US authorities to deport him. Contreras was arrested in 11 April 2018 in a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement migration raid. His tourism visa was expired.

Also involved in the murder of Yuniol Ramírez are Argenis Contreras’ wife, Heydi Carolina Peña, José Mercado Blanco (El Grande), Víctor Elisander Raverlo Campos (“El Herrero”), and Jorge Luis Abreu Fabián (“DJ and El Taxista”), accused of covering up for Contreras and attempting to destroy evidence in the case.

In August 2020, defense lawyers for the Omsa bus director at the time, Manuel Rivas, were able to remove murder charges against him in court. Rivas was released on bail and now only faces charges for corruption in office. The former financial director of Omsa, Faustino Diaz is also free on bail.

Read more in Spanish:
El Nacional
El Dia
El Caribe
El Nuevo Diario
Listin Diario
Noticias SIN
Diario Libre

19 January 2021