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PUERTO PLATA. - Residents of the town Maimón blocked traffic on the Puerto Plata-Santiago highway since early Tuesday morning, to demand the repeal of the bill to raise that community’s category, as it didn’t encompass the Riú hotels in Magiolo, which were left within the Puerto Plata city limits instead.

The demonstrators torched tires, placed obstacles in the road and tried to reach the front of the Puerto Plata City Council to stage a rally, but were prevented by the Police and members of president Leonel Fernandez’s security detail.

The organizations demand that the new demarcation includes the communities  Barba Rusia and the Bahia de Maimón within its limits, and accuse Puerto Plata governor Cesar Jose de los Santos and the councilpersons of not showing  interest in solving their locality’s problems.

The bill to make Maimón a municipal district was approved some two years ago and since then the villagers demand the control of the coastal areas, as it leaves them out of the benefits of tourism, including the 150,000 pesos the hotels pay the City Council for trash collection and other services that would now be under the new municipal district’s control.

The head of the community La Isabela, Kennedy Garcia, ordered both municipal councils closed to prevent protests when Fernandez arrives in the zone today, to inaugurate several public works in this province.

The demonstrators said, a military official ordered tear gas canisters to clear the Puerto Plata-Imbert road prior to Fernandez’s expected arrival.

The chief executive is slated to remain here until Wednesday, after heading the ribbon cuttings and meetings with business and tourism industry leaders.

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3 comment(s)
Written by: JD, 24 Jul 2007 10:20 PM
From: Washington, DC
Here's a new idea:

Instead of tear gasing citizens and using a armed security force & military.....How about trying to do something different instead....

Lets try to do what is fair & equitable for the greater society in this local area (instead of benefiting a few insiders to promote politicians own self interest). When the government is concerned about the citizens ...they know it (also when they are not a true concern).

All of the people tear gased should VOTE!
Written by: JOSEAN, 24 Jul 2007 11:42 PM
From: USA
Another heavy handed denial of the legitimate right of the Dominican people to protest to get a redress of their grievances. The PLD are purple Trujillistas period!
Written by: JLB, 25 Jul 2007 9:39 PM
From: Nueba Yol
JD: the tear gassed people u speak of did vote. The voted for Leonel. Coge ahi.
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