US Attorney General’s visit to Dominican Republic prods major drug cases
SANTO DOMINGO. –U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s visit to Dominican Republic last week left in its wake a sudden resumption of two major drug cases, one which had been dragging in the Supreme Court for nearly one year, and the other, the arrest of an extraditable who had been hiding in plain sight.
The Supreme Court justices in the case of Ramon Antonio del Rosario Puente (Toño Leña), wanted by the U.S. in extradition, ruled for his attorneys’ motions for continuance at least five times this year, which set a record in postponements.
But the most intriguing case is that of Oscar E. Rodriguez Cruz, wanted in the United States on drug trafficking charges. He headed the movement “New Rebirth with Papa,” in support of opposition PRD party presidential candidate Hipólito Mejía’s campaign.
And despite PRD vice-presidential candidate Luis Abinader’s affirmation that the campaign staff didn’t know about the movement, for months Rodriguez’s face was plastered on billboards in major avenues in the capital Santo Domingo, as well as in the eastern city of San Pedro, together with Mejia’s.
As to the coincidence of Holder’s visit, the local media didn’t buy press statements noting that he was here to define the sharing of seized assets; his dictating a conference on cooperation against international crime, or his bestowing a recogniztion of a local antinarcotics official.
Ruling PLD party presidential candidate Danilo Medina on Monday affirmed that before accepting campaign contributions, the origin of the funds is investigated and whom they’re from.
On Sunday Institutionalism and Justice Foundation executive coordinator (Finjus), Serbio Tulio Castaños Guzmán stated a concern on the possibility that drug trafficking funds reaches the political parties, and suggested investigations of those people who squander money.