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.