The Attorney General’s Office revealed that one of the 16 people convicted of the massacre of six suspected drug traffickers in Paya-Bani, which happened in Ojo de Agua on 4 August 2008, was freed from jail in the last days of December 2017. The man freed was former second lieutenant in the Dominican Armada, Andrés Tapia Balbuena, who was sentenced to 20 years in jail. 16 persons out of 22 charged were convicted in the Paya murder case with sentences of 10, 20 and 30 years handed down by a National District court.
It is now known that Tapia Balbuena still had around 8 months to go before completing half of his sentence, when he would be eligible for conditional release. He is the first of the Paya case to be freed.
The Paya case involved the murder of seven Colombians by a group of Dominican military and civilians, who were attempting to take 1,300 kilos of cocaine from them. The drugs were never found.
The investigation involved the highest members of the investigative branches of the National Police and other intelligence agencies following the murder of the seven Colombians: Darío José Atencio (El Jefe and/or El Don and/or Cañarete), Eduardo Fabio de León Perozo (Negro Bollo and/or El Gordo), Jesús del Río Hans(Blanquito), Oscar Darío Naranjo Mejía (Fierrito), Antonio Zuluaga Mustiola or Cerino Enrique and Marín Gutiérrez, Apolinar Altamirano Cuéllar.
Those convicted to 30 years in jail were Luis Lara and José Luis Montás (El Duro Motors), who died in jail, both named as the heads of the gang which killed the Colombians. Also sentenced to 30 years were ex marines Edward Mayobanex Rodríguez Montero (Comando), Miguel Peña Figuereo (Peñita), Ricardo Guzmán Pérez (El Tuerto), Jorge Luis Chalas and Antonio Roche Pineda.
Those sentenced to 20 years were Dennys Jairo Rodríguez Pérez, Yaneuris Manuel Calvo Tejeda, Andrés Tapia Balbuena and the only survivor of the shooting, Orín Clinton Gómez. Those sentenced to 10 years were Jesús Sánchez Piña and Scarlet Aristy Rosa (the only woman involved in the case). A three-year sentence was given to Augusto Alberto Danneris Andújar; and five years to Marcos Fajardo and Andrés Berroa Mercedes (Capi).
There is speculation that the release of Andrés Tapia Balbuena marks the beginning of the release from prison for the rest of the defendants in the case.
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4 January 2018