Dominican Republic’s ‘corruption bricks’ fall on President’s head
Santo Domingo.- President Danilo Medina’sinfamous statement that he "wouldn’t throw bricks at past corruption"is precisely what has him at the center of the Odebrecht bribes scandal,becoming the thorn on the side of his second term in office.
The scandal also smears Dominican Republicruling party’s (PLD) fifth administration and raises questions for senior leadersof the last administration (2000-2004) of the opposition party (PRD) headed byHipolito Mejia, which today belong to the opposition organization, PRM.
The social wave that has forced the Braziliancompany to acknowledge bribes of US$92.0 million to Dominican officials and othercases of corruption also taint the three terms in office of former presidentLeonel Fernandez.
Outlet diariolibre.com reports Odebrecht had nineprojects during Fernandez’s terms in office; six during Medina’s, while Mejia hadtwo.
The Brazilian company’s questioned actions inthe country began in 2002 with construction of the Northwest Aqueduct by the PotableWater Institute (Inapa), whose director was Roberto Rodríguez during Mejía’stenure, followed by seven contracts by former Public Works minister Victor DiazRúa (Fernández) and five works by currentPublic Works minister Gonzalo Castillo (Mdeina).
Medina’s standing is also threatened by photosin various events with businessman Ángel Rondón, accused by local Odebrechtmanager Marcelo Hofke of having received the US$92 million, as the company’s "commercialrepresentative" in the country.
The images have stoked a political firestorm despitedenials by Hofke’s attorney Robert Valdez that same day.