Local October 31, 2013 | 3:22 pm

Government officials butt heads over eviction of vendors downtown

Santo Domingo.- Two government officials are butting heads over Wednesday’s eviction of squatters and vendors at the corner of Duarte and 27 de Febrero avenues, which made the downtown intersection a virtual gauntlet for traffic.

While Solidarity Bank director Maira Jiménez, on Thursday defended the vendors on the Duarte and the entire area, calling the eviction an abuse and an outrage, Metropolitan Transit Authority )AMET) director Juan Geronimo Brown called it necessary because they snarl traffic.

In a statement, Jimenez said the vendors have families to feed, and are men and women, who engage in honest work daily. "They are people who depend on this income to survive, and to put them out of business is to push them to the streets to commit crimes and do bad things."

City council

Santo Domingo mayor Roberto Salcedo, who has struggled with the sprawl caused by the vendors, helped the AMET agents with the eviction, by sending City Council crews to haul off the makeshift shacks and rickety stands from the busy intersection.

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