Local March 16, 2012 | 8:05 am

Agriculture Minister calls “mafia” allegation “politics”

Santo Domingo.- Agriculture Minister Salvador (Chío) Jimenez on Thursday called accusations by agribusiness leaders that he forms part of a “mafia” of Government authorized food import “politics,” and described himself “the main defender the national production.”

He said the farming sector leaders Eric Rivero, Luis Bonilla, Wilfredo Cabrera, Manuel Matos and Jose Francisco Matías are supporters of opposition PRD party presidential candidate Hipólito Mejía.

The business leaders, quoted by newspaper Hoy, said Jimenez and Administrative minister Luis Manuel Bonetti head a “mafia” that issues permits to import beans, garlic, onion, rice, milk, chicken, among others, which Matias affirmed personally profit from the authorizations.

“While those producers, who serve political interests, walk around auguring the evils using the tired issue of imports, all international cooperation agencies have praised the Dominican agro sector’s growth in the last few years, estimated at an average of 7%,” Jimenez said.

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