Spanish Firm Blamed for Deadly Clash in Dominican Republic
SANTO DOMINGO – The Dominican State Sugar Council, or CEA, said Monday that it will file a criminal complaint against a Spanish businessman over an armed confrontation at a sugar plantation that left two people dead, including a police officer.

The incident took place Sunday in the eastern province of El Seibo, where Spaniard Joaquin Martin’s firm, Azucarera Porvenir, cultivates sugarcane under a contract with the CEA.

Killed in the clash were police Sgt. Orlando de los Santos and an Azucarera employee, while two other workers were injured.

Police have six suspects in custody and are seeking a seventh person.

De los Santos opened fire on the plantation workers, killing one and wounding two others, before other workers fell upon the police officer and hacked him to death with machetes, Azucarera Porvenir executive Manuel Dominguez Sanz told Efe.

The CEA director, Frank Matos, offered a dramatically different account of the violence.

He told Efe the policeman was guarding a neighboring property when drunken “bandits” on Martin’s payroll appeared and challenged Sgt. De los Santos.

Under a 30-year contract signed last September by Azucarera Porvenir and the CEA, the Spanish firm is to pay $1 million a year for the right to cultivate sugarcane on 6,000 hectares (14,814 acres) in Santa Fe and Porvenir.

The Spanish company claims, however, that the CEA gave 50 percent of the promised acreage in Porvenir to Constructora Castelar, owned by two of the Dominican Republic’s largest sugar producers.

Constructora says Azucarera Porvenir encroached on land the Dominican firm leased from the CEA last October.

Since early May, Dominican soldiers, CEA security guards and Constructora Castelar employees have prevented Azucarera Porvenir from working its land, the Spanish company says.

The CEA insists it is simply trying to keep Azucarera Porvenir away from land not included in the Spanish firm’s contract.

Matos contends Azucarera is not happy with some of the land it leased and is trying to help itself to more desirable acreage.

“Of course we have to protect foreign investment, but not whatever pleases them,” the CEA chief said. “What is going on is that they (Azucarera Porvenir) don’t want to invest in and improve” the less productive land, even though the contract provides a two-year grace period for exactly that purpose.







Dominican Watchdog Note: There has not really been any interest in printing this story in the Dominican Republic due to local pressure!! Follow links to learn more about all the problems created by the powerful sugar families:  and


Watch the horrible movie, The Price of Sugar!


Read also Stop Sugar Purchases from the Dominican Republic, Sugar Barons are making billions from child labor and slavery conditions!

Go back | Date: 27 Jul 2011
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