Local October 29, 2013 | 11:05 am

‘Country’s owners’ clash within, mirror U.S. Teamsters mafia days

Santo Domingo.- The latest clashes within the country’s powerful truckers and buses unions could signal a rift with unforeseeable consequences and heightened turmoil among “the country’s owners,” a term used by Dominican media for the groups akin to the U.S. Teamsters, and the mafia they eventually became.

Arsenio Quevedo, head of the bus union Unatrafin, accused Héctor Mojica, director of the government’s Transport Office (OTTT), of being allied with the powerful unions Fenatrano and Conatra by which asked president Danilo Medina to intervene.

Quevedo said while Conatra and Fenatrano abuse and harass them, Mojica brushes aside the problem with an "OK, thank you."

He also rebuffed Mojica’s statements that the San Juan Valley bus owners union isn’t registered at the OTTT, and warned that its drivers will have to defend themselves in the disputes over routes, where they’ve been the victims of assaults with bats, machetes and guns. “One doesn’t have to be a wizard to realize that “Mojica does what Fenatrano and Conatra say.”

In a press conference, the union leader also warned that if the authorities don’t halt the mistreatment of drivers and passengers, they’ll camp at the National Palace to get Medina’s attention.

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