Groups covet notorious drug trafficker’s farms worth millions
SAN JUAN de la MAGUANA, Dominican Republic.- A heated debate has surged among lawmakers, agro authorities and provincial leaders of the ruling PLD party, over what to do with the properties worth millions seized from the notorious narcotics trafficker Quirino Paulino.
While some see it as a piñata, others want to turn them into model greenhouses for groups of farm producers and cattle ranching.
PLD deputy Roberto Lebrón recently submitted a resolution asking president Leonel Fernandez to transfer the 370 hectares in three seized farms to the Dominican Agrarian Institute (IAD), for it to distribute for the zone’s farmers.
During a visit two years ago Justice minister Radhamés Jiménez suggested the construction of a modern correctional facility in the vast cattle ranch “Belkis Elizabeth,” citing overpopulation in the local jail, while small and medium scale farmers prefer transfer to buyers who don’t have access to bank financing.
Yet another proposal by large scale farmers would be investing for production using modern technology, to receive dividends.
Recently the head of the area’s cattle ranchers grouped in AGASUR accused agro sector officials of trying “to keep Quirino Paulino’s best lands, through intermediates.”
Victor Matos said “they’re pressuring to distribute Quirino’s property in parcels through third parties,” but she didn’t identify those official allegedly behind the land-grabbing scheme.
Quoted by news source elnacional.com.do, he farming leader asked “why doesn’t the Government rent those lands to people with economic capacity so they install greenhouses parks and produce vegetables with high tech.”
He said the market for those products would be secured through the company Tropical de la Maguana, owned by Israelis, who he affirms would buy the harvests of tomato, red pepper and other fruits.