Local February 16, 2012 | 1:11 pm

Hoteliers despair on seemingly untouchable eastern mafia

Santo Domingo.- The hoteliers and tourism business leaders grouped in Asonahores on Thursday rallied behind the executives of the Barceló hotels chain and stated their concern with the Judicial system’s actions in eastern La Altagracia province

“The case denounced by Barceló Hotels when a civil and commercial suit was turned into a criminal prosecution is of great concern with the recent prison sentence on grand larceny conviction against five senior executives of that hotel chain, in its main tourist complex in Punta Cana,” the entity said in an emailed statement.

Asonahores said the incident could have a negative impact on the country’s image as an investment destination and requested a sweeping purge in the zone’s judicial structure.


Asonahores warned that the repeated judicial scandals in Dominican Republic’s top tourism region don’t go unnoticed in financial and investment centers abroad, in addition to the “evictions-turned-assaults” in disrespect of due process, with several hotels “practically ransacked” by people bearing alleged court orders.

“We saw frightful images of groups of people invading hotels for hours and terrifying the local and foreign tourists lodged there, some of which were stripped of their belongings, and the businesses later faced hundreds of lawsuits from people for the frightful situation they had to withstand,” the hoteliers warned, their latest in a decades long list of similar actions by seemingly untouchable criminal groups.

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