Court deals blow to Cisneros Tropicalia resort project
Santo Domingo.- The Agricultural Bank and the Agrarian Institute (IAD) “under no circumstances” will allow the lands that the Supreme Court and the Superior Land Court have ruled are State-owned, to become “another episode of illegalities and irregular purchases of properties such as Bahia de las Aguilas.”
Agricultural Bank administrator Carlos Segura, and IAD director Emilio Toribio made the statement in reference to a land-sale dispute with Venezuelan investor Gustavo Cisneros, in the resort project Tropicalia, in Miches (east).
They stressed that the disputed lands are State- owned since 1964, to produce rice and other crops.
Meanwhile, Agricultural Bank lawyer Fabiola Medina on Monday called the dispute “a fight to prevent being stripped of some 10 million square meters of land suitable for tourism,” in El Seibo province.
“We have said that this case bears a strong resemblance to what happened in Bahía de las Águilas, where land, thousands of square meters of land was bought irregularly from agrarian reform landowners,” she said.
Inversiones Ítalo Tropicales, owned by the Cisneros Group, occupied around 10,000 square meters on land which on August 23 the Supreme Court ruled as property of the Agricultural Bank, upholding the decision handed down by the Superior Land Court, El Seibo jurisdiction.
Nonetheless the company cited apparent problems in the surveys of the property, and proposed a new mapping ,although the Supreme Court’s ruling was definitive .
Although Cisneros has yet to issue a statement on the court decision, the resort group will likely cite a lack of legal security in the country, where foreign investors are often scammed by individuals and government officials as well.