Local May 17, 2013 | 7:37 am

Dominican Government uses Army soldiers to violate the law

Santo Domingo.- The Government has decided to violate Santo Domingo’s zoning law by allowing the construction of a pedestrian walk over the seaside boulevard El Malecon, to the point of having deployed Dominican Army soldiers to prevent the National District City Council from demolishing the columns of the structure.

The unprecedented measure is the first signal from president Danilo Medina’s fledgling Administration that it is willing to continue with Dominican Republic’s virtual state of lawlessness.

The development on Thursday prompted the National District City Council to call an urgent meeting to deal with the pedestrian bridge over the thoroughfare in the span known as the 30 de Mayo highway, in front of the Universidad del Caribe (Unicaribe), where the construction of the columns has already begun.

The session slated for 11am Friday is expected to address the "disrespect of the State Works Supervising Engineers Office (OISOE) of the National District City Council’s institutionalism and decision-making process,” a City Council source was quoted as saying by diariolibre.com.

According to people linked to the City Council, “the OISOE hasn’t shown the dignity to speak to the City authorities at any level."

After the city authorities demolished the OISOE’s first construction in front of the university, the government agency revealed its willingness to steamroll the zoning law by restarting the bridge last weekend.

In a vote on Tuesday the City Council reiterated its opposition to the construction and dismissed claims of having reached an agreement with the OISOE to build the structure.

The neighbors of the sector, Dominicanos Ausentes, fear the bridge will lead to further sprawl and the chaos unleashed by Unicaribe, a makeshift “garage university,” one of the many that sprout across the country which the Higher Education and Science Ministry seems helpless to control.

When DT asked the four soldiers at the site why they were deployed there, one of them said that it was to prevent the construction from being demolished. “The president (Medina) took pity on the university students.”

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