Local April 26, 2012 | 9:24 am

Sweet “interests” behind priest Hartley’s accusation, top official says

Santo Domingo. – The Minister of Industry and Commerce affirmed Thursday that particular benefits could be behind the priest Christopher Hartley Sartorius’ allegation that Dominican Republic’s sugar industry workers are mistreated.

Manuel Garcia Arevalo said the priest’s second last name, Sartorius, is linked to sugar interests which in his view would benefit if the Dominican Republic is stripped of its U.S. sugar quota.

“The most jeopardized would be the mills workers themselves if somehow the current preferential sugar quota conditions are forfeited and taken to other countries where in fact the Sartorius family perhaps has interests,” the official said.

Speaking in the American Chamber of Commerce’s (Ancham-DR) monthly luncheon, Garcia discarded Hartley’s allegation of forced and child labor in the contrary’s cane fields and sugar mills, and noted that on the contrary, have higher wages than in other Central America nations.

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