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Washington Heights Joins Dominican Republic in Solidarity Against Impunity While Covered in Green

Politics, CultureNelson SantanaComment

By Nelson Santana

July 26, 2017  

On Sunday, July 16—exactly one month prior to the anniversary of the second Dominican independence—Dominicans and allies in the United States marched from Washington Heights to Inwood, New York, vocalizing their displeasure toward the Dominican government and corruption within the different sectors. Hundreds of U.S. Dominicans and allies joined their siblings in solidarity, who also marched in their homeland. Although the Dominican community has demonstrated their frustrations toward repression, corruption, and impunity, during these past few months they have been more vocal about this matter. 

Back on January 22, thousands of people dressed in green marched throughout the Dominican Republic. The largest mobilization took place in Santo Domingo, effectively one of the largest since the nineties. People from the different social classes have had enough[1]. Similar protests occurred worldwide including including Germany, Spain, Italy, and Switzerland, among other countries. 

The Green March is a reaction to the systemic problem of corruption that currently plagues the Dominican Republic both within the nation and outside its borders. Fed up, hundreds of thousands of Dominicans worldwide have voiced their concerns and continue to make their dislikes known to all. ESENDOM was present to interview several people. You can view the interviews by visiting our video channel or by clicking HERE

In Their Own Words:

With her green hair, Élida Almonte stated: "We protestors want to call the people and the Dominican government. We want the people on their feet so they can defend our well-being. 

Professor Ángel Caba Fuentes: "The purpose of the Green March is to demand from the Dominican judicial system that those who have been bribed by Oderbrecht...including former President Leonel Fernández and also the other political parties to be processed by the judicial system."

Dressed as a prisoner in black and white, Edelsa Mateo said: "We are tired of putting up with the peledeístas." 

William Guerrero and Pedro Taveras are among the organizers. According to Taveras: "Naturally, we are all responsible for this occurring and we will all be responsible for ensuring that it ends."

People like Orlando Ramón Rodríguez came from other parts of the country. Rodríguez, who lives in the city of Boston, joined the cause to end corruption

Several banners and signs covered the streets including: "Danilo: big-time thief resign," "NO ODEBRECHT, NO CORRUPTION, NO IMPUNITY," "ALL CORRUPT TO PRISON," and "THE MAFIA OF THE PARENTS OF CORRUPTION, among others.

The march did not run entirely smoothly. Organizers confronted several anti-Haitian nationalists, thus preventing most from partaking in the protest with their banners. Other, however, went undetected. ESENDOM captured footage. Though a small group, they made their presence known with their anti-Haitian rhetoric. In addition to protesting corruption, they also protested the merger of the island. Organizers allowed those who withdrew their banners to participate in the march.

Among the protesters and organizations present were the Instituto Duartiano de Nueva York, Gagá Pal Puebo, Latino Power, Inc. of Rhode Island, as well as the following individuals: the classical artist Adán Vásquez, scholar Sophie Mariñez, ex Vice-Consul Bienvenido Lara Flores, and cultural ambassadors Génaro Ozuna And Ronald Sterling, and activist Radhamés Pérez, among other prominent figures. 

To conclude the march, the Green March manifesto was read. You can read the manifesto in Spanish by clicking here

[1] Amaury Rodríguez, “Against a History of Repression, Corruption, and Impunity, a Growing Social Movement in the Dominican Republic Demands Change.” NACLA, 16 Jun. 2016.