Local December 30, 2021 | 8:12 am

‘My safe country’ gains ground in the neighborhoods

Citizen security has been one of the government's concerns and it has implemented the "My safe country" program to confront crime. RAÚL ASENCIO / RH

Santo Domingo, DR

“It can be felt because it can be felt” and “it is very calm,” were the statements of José Viola and Ramón Manzueta, two community members of La Zurza, about the transformation in crime that their sector has experienced after the implementation of the program “My Safe Country.”

But Viola and Manzueta were not the only ones to positively evaluate the patrolling and security work carried out by law enforcement agencies in the sector. A fried food vendor, Yosi assured that “now there are more policemen.”

“Yes, they pass by at all hours,” he added.

On his side, Captain Madé Mora, zone supervisor, indicated that only last Tuesday night, they detained several citizens with “suspicious characteristics.” “Last night we had an operation in the alleys and we arrested 17 people and then we purged them; some of them had bladed weapons,” said Madé Mora while he showed to the Listín Diario team some of the seized pieces.

In the meantime, the person in charge of the procedure, Corporal Madé Romero, said they confiscate between seven and eight weapons of this type daily.

He also pointed out that not more than ten days ago, they carried out an operation of voluntary surrender of weapons in the market area, where they collected about 50.

Zero wounded by bullets
Meanwhile, Captain Madé Mora added that bullet wounds in La Zurza have decreased to zero as a result of this plan.

“What is more, since the plan began we have not had any shooting incidents,” he highlighted while describing that “at this stage of the game we already had about 12, and now we do not have even one.” However, the person in charge of the La Zurza detachment revealed that “crimes of snatching” are still occurring, but they are not committed by residents but in nearby areas.

La Puya
As well as La Zurza, La Puya de Arroyo Hondo is also part of the communities of the capital that have the citizen security plan, there, motorized vehicles of the National Police travel the streets, where some months ago “it was not even possible to walk after six o’clock.”

“Here, it has improved a lot,” said Fernando Jiménez, while repeating insistently, “very, very, very much.” Jiménez said that he has been living there for 35 of his 50 years and that “now we are seeing improvement.”

Margarita Rosario said that now she sees the uniformed officers “every day.”
Regarding Ensanche la Fe, the community is still waiting for the promised detachment during the security project’s inauguration.

In this regard, Major Jáquez, supervisor of the police station, which, for the moment, operates in a van, explained that several plots of land have already been identified but that it has not yet been determined which one it would be or when construction would begin.

On the other hand, Leonardo Ruiz, alias Nao, maintained that “there are more police than people,” He can now go out to his business selling chickens.

“I am someone who speaks the truth, now I go out at any time, around here crime has decreased. If it were something else I would say it too, but it was happening at all hours,” he said. Nao indicated that some months ago, he suffered an assault attempt while walking to his job, the reason for which Nao previously delayed the time he left his house, but assures that he has already resumed the usual schedule once again.

“They take everyone.”
Contrary to the three neighborhoods mentioned above, in Cristo Rey, where the project began, the residents affirmed that they do feel the patrolling, but that when they pass by, “They take everyone away.”

“If they take away the delinquents, that’s fine, but you see that they take away even the decent, hard-working people who come tired from their work,” revealed Juan Evangelista, who also pointed out that a few days ago they took away a neighbor who “was quiet on the corner.”


During the tour made by this media through the four sectors of “My Safe Country,” the team observed the circulation of uniformed officers on motorcycles and pick-up trucks .

“My Safe Country” formally started on June 5th in Cristo Rey and was extended to La Puya, La Zurza and Ensanche la Fe on September 28th.

This plan is also being applied in San Francisco de Macoris and Santiago with the objective of lowering the levels of crime in the country.

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Paul Tierney
December 30, 2021 8:28 am

This anti crime program is a start, especially in these barrios. Yet, it would be eye opening if done in the barrios of Santo Domingo Este. One barrio brought to mind is Los Mina, where the police fear to tread. The good people of those areas need relief from crime.