Crime is a major concern for residents in Villas Agrícolas neighborhood
There are shortcomings in basic services in the sector, but the real concern of residents is crime. JORGE MARTÍNEZ / LISTÍN DIARIO
Desamparados. The residents of this populous neighborhood in the capital say they feel abandoned because those responsible for protecting them “are conspicuous by their absence.” When they do show up, they join those who commit crimes.
Santo Domingo, DR
Although they suffer from the lack of water, energy, and deficient garbage collection, crime is the most significant concern of the residents of the Villas Agrícolas sector, located in the northern part of the capital.
According to the residents of this sector, delinquents are in charge of “welcoming” their visitors, and this has become a latent problem, so much so that they assure that it is not a new issue for them, leading some to “take justice into their own hands.”
“Young man, put that cell phone away; you are about to get the reception of a snatch,” were the first words when approaching Juan Ignacio Lora, who has been living in the area for 20 years. According to the common response of all those interviewed, complaints about the lack of water, electricity, or garbage collection are ignored. The fact is that delinquency, in many cases “tricked” by the personnel responsible for safeguarding the inhabitants, has led the evildoers in the area to take “advantage” of this irregular alliance.
“The thieves have taken cell phones, guns, motors, and lives. But, everything stays the same; why would one denounce if those who have to look for them and take them to jail are helping them,” declared Juan Ignacio Lora.
One event that came to light in the conversations was the death of two young men dedicated to crime and murder for hire in different parts of the capital. Still, their criminal activities were centered in Villas Agrícolas.
“Brayita” and “Alfonsito” were the nicknames of the young men killed during a confrontation last week with the National Police, who pursued them after an armed robbery.
“It was like a war between Russia and Ukraine that day; with all the shots that sounded, people were hiding in the nearest grocery stores and houses,” said Jazmín Sánchez.
Other neighbors cited that these subjects, together with different groups of “minors,” have the community under siege. Those who go out to their daily work in the morning hours are among the primary victims if they risk going out alone. “But there were people who even celebrated those deaths; one asks God for forgiveness but for one to take one decent person, better that they kill ten of them,” said a resident who asked to preserve his identity for fear of reprisals.
He assures that it has become normal for the neighbors to get together to go out in groups if it is very early in the morning to walk together on the stretch that takes them to where they take a public car, to be able to save themselves from being assaulted or defend themselves in case it happens.
They insist that the patrolling of the sector’s roads is very “reduced.”
Those who work in the area of “two-wheeled” transport cry out to the authorities responsible for the protection of citizens to take action, to have “mercy” on them and other people since many of them have lost their method of transport work because of the local thieves.
Jasmín Sánchez says that Villas Agrícolas gives the appearance of being “a neighborhood of hitmen and evil,” but the truth is that decent and hardworking people live there, who every day seek to support their families with work and are the most affected by this massive wave of robberies.