Local August 23, 2021 | 4:22 pm

Disappearances cause concern in the country

1) Luis Peña Valdez 2) Erick Daniel Cordero 3) Ángel María Mejía 4) Ariel Santana Sánchez

The disappearances of citizens have once again been a cause for concern in the country due to recent events that have distressed family members.

Faced with impotence and lack of support from the authorities, relatives cling to social media and the media to echo the problem that affects them.

This recurring theme puts the citizenry on tenterhooks because not only relatives are involved in the incessant search.

Listín Diario has paid particular attention to this problem, documenting the cases and showing how they affect families who have lasted years looking for their relatives. At least 31 disappearances have been recorded this year, according to counts by Listín Diario.

Some people have at least had the consolation that they have been able to bury the body of their relative because they have been found dead days, months, or years later.

Of the 346 people missing in 2017, 25 were found dead, this newspaper reported in September 2018 in a special series.

In the most recent publication of Listín Diario on the subject, it was established that in 7 days, nine people were reported missing, including Luis Peña Valdez, the man who lasted 12 years imprisoned in La Victoria prison, without criminal charges nor judicial file.

Peña Valdez was released on 9 August by prison authorities and placed in charge of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), which had provided him with accommodation.

Data on the most recent disappearances, compiled by journalist Yudelka Domínguez, are for the week of August 13-19, 2021.

Earlier, on May 21, journalist Javier Flores published 22 cases in the first four months of 2021, according to a national police record, through the Missing Persons Investigation Division of the Central Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DICRIM).

In 2020, due to the lack of statistical information from the National Police, Listín Diario presented at least 13 facts of this nature of people who have not known anything about their whereabouts for decades.

In 2017, 346 people were reported missing, according to the publication made on September 19, 2018, under the signature of journalist Dalton Herrera, who pointed out that at that date, there were still 83 without being located.

The Ombudsman, who keeps records and provides assistance to the families of the disappeared, reported in 2017 that there were 108 people in that state at the time.

In a 2012 report by journalists Mairobi Herrera and Javier Valdivia, Listín Diario determined that between three and five people disappeared in the country every day.

All these records show the interest that Listín Diario has shown in this problem, evidencing the lack of statistics and support for the affected families.


Four cases

Among those recently reported missing is Angel Maria Mejia Mercedes, 51, a resident of Villa Hermosa municipality, La Romana. In addition, Erick Daniel Cordero Guzmán, accountant, resident in the Herrera sector, Santo Domingo province; the actor Andy Iturbides, and Mr. Luis Peña Valdez, who was housed in premises of the National Human Rights Commission after he was released from La Victoria prison, where he lasted 12 years without having a criminal charge.

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