A bloody weekend
Santo Domingo, DR
Deaths shake different parts of the country
Although everything pointed to the fact that the main news of the week ending would be the statements made by President Luis Abinader and the reactions to them, it was the number of deaths that occurred during the week that took the headlines of the public showcase.
Just in the last few hours, it was reported that a young woman died early Sunday morning after being wounded allegedly by her partner in Moca, Espaillat province, where also last night two young men were killed in an entertainment center.
Karla Angélica Pérez Durán died in a private health center in the city of Moca, after the incident occurred in the Municipal District José Contreras (Villa Trina).
Two men were shot dead just hours earlier in an establishment selling alcoholic beverages in Gaspar Hernandez, Espaillat province. The victims were identified as Nelson Antonio Garcia “Tres Pelos,” 29, and Ciriaco Odavi Burgos “El Chipero,” 19, while the alleged assailant is Sandro Lebron.
A source told Listin Diario that “El Chipero” and Lebron had personal problems, and the former slapped the latter, to which the latter left the place and returned with the firearm that had committed the double crime. García and Burgos lived in the town of El Semillero de Gaspar Hernández and died in the hospital Manuel Luna hospital. The murderer is at large.
On Saturday night another incident occurred in Los Coquitos, in the municipality of Los Alcarrizos, when Esteban Javier Cora killed his ex-partner Indira de la Cruz, 19; her sister, India Paola Rosario de la Cruz, 16, and their mother Marianeli Rosario Tejeda, 36. According to preliminary reports, the assailant attacked his ex-partner, her mother and also a sister in the Los Coquitos sector in the aforementioned municipality.
This week other violent acts have dismayed the Dominican society. In the early morning of Tuesday, August 16, a young man, Dabel Zapata, 32 years old, died during an assault at a fast food stand at kilometer 8½ of Independencia Avenue, in the Dominican capital.
So far, Julio Cesar Jimenez, 29, has been arrested. While four others are still at large, according to the National Police. On the morning of Friday, August 19, 45-year-old Manuel Duncan died in the parking lot of the Rico Hot establishment on Núñez de Cáceres Avenue. The main accused is retired vice admiral Félix Alburquerque, former president of the DNCD.
Two girls injured
A new chapter of violence resulted in the shooting of two girls and an elderly man in the Enriquillo neighborhood of Barahona.
The girls Yaritza Cuello, 13, Morelia Pinales, 8, and their grandfather, Marcial Antonio Pinales, 60, were wounded in the shooting.
All three have wounds in their buttocks and legs and are treated at the Jaime Mota hospital. The shots were fired by a certain “Camarón.”
Femicides, homicides, and assaults affect collectively.
“Look, now it is better to be single,” a young professional, 25 years old, declared. Carmen Hernández referred to the death of a mother, her two daughters, and another man at the hands of the ex-partner of one of them in Los Alcarrizos; another feminicide in Moca, Espaillat province, as well as the shooting death of two young men in a grocery store in Gaspar Hernández, all in less than 24 hours.
Her career obliges her to know these facts and follow them up, so she cannot avoid the news; and continues her story of fear with the expression, “I live an anxiety since I leave my house until I get to my work and in the afternoon the same anguish until I return home. On the bus I am afraid that any person could harm me.”
The neurologist Silié Ruiz says the levels of violence in the country are producing a “depression with hopelessness,” while the psychiatrist César Mella defines it as post-traumatic stress, a psychosocial condition in which the human being presents irritability, sadness, and insomnia.
Both specialists understand that it is not only in the Dominican Republic that this phenomenon occurs, which has worsened after the pandemic, but their recommendations are addressed to the authorities to give back hope to the people with more citizen security and positive campaigns, and the individuals, in particular, by emphasizing that the psychologists and psychiatrists cannot cope with the episodes which are taking place, especially in the young population.
Silié Ruiz told Listín Diario that he thought that the coronavirus pandemic was going to make society more humane, empathetic, and more solidary, but “it has been the opposite, we have become more violent, aggressive, irritable, anger overwhelms us, and in a second we go from zero to 100, and we kill whoever, because of the fact that this state of mind of anguish and living stress intensifies instability.”
He notes that the brain has a fracture point when subjected to constant stress. There comes a moment when it collapses, so the amount of people who are frustrated from the emotional, family, and economic point of view is a breeding ground for violence, “when that human being does not fulfill the expectations, he gets frustrated and becomes aggressive against everyone.”
Silié Ruiz emphasized that he sees one or two people in his office daily with this condition and urges those with panic and phobia to seek urgent help.
“We are seeing in recent months a society in a state of uncertainty, lack of citizen security, and interpersonal violence,” explains Dr. César Mella.
He said that among the factors that incite this social decomposition and impact people’s emotional health are firearms, and disappearances of people, among others.