Dominican Police Raid Three Clinics as Investigation into Organ Harvesting Conspiracy Deepens

The tip of a macabre iceberg. Listin Diario
The oldest Dominican daily, Listin Diario, is reporting that prosecutors in Santo Domingo ordered the national police to raid three clinics linked to the disappearance of Carla Massiel, a 10-year-old girl who was found deprived of her organs, with a suspect in her murder confirming that she was kidnapped for her body parts.

The individual who led authorities to the grave hiding the body of Carla Massiel is currently cooperating with police, and it is his testimony that has led to swift judicial action, especially given the global interest the story has generated.

According to Listin Diario, police spent hours in each clinic, eventually closing down two of them. Patients who were interned in the closed clinics have been locked in their rooms, with family members prevented from going in to see them. Ambulances showing up at the emergency gates of the clinics are being turned away, creating tremendous strain in an already overburdened medical system.

The police lockdown left the entire medical staff "in panic," wrote Listin Diario, with many pacing throughout the hallways unsure of what fate awaited them;  most are now unsure if they'll have a job tomorrow.

Witnesses reported seeing police carrying out surgical equipment, which will be subjected to thorough examination in order to determine if they were used during the brutal extraction of an innocent young soul's organs. 

The latest development in the cruel saga of Carla Massiel's greed-driven death has shaken the Dominican people's faith in the country's organ transplant system, especially as multiple doctors had come out in recent days saying that it was impossible for the medical procedure to have been carried out without the cooperation of a large team of specialists. 

There's many millions of dollars and extremely wealthy individuals tied to the clinics raided in Santo Domingo; the citizens expect everything to quietly go away, but this time the evidence is too extensive, and an apparently guilt-ridden kidnapper is collaborating to reveal exactly what happens in the biggest tourist hub in the Caribbean. 

There will likely be high-profile arrests in the near future, and even if the Public Prosecutor's office can't get any convictions, Dominican society will be froever warped; fewer parents will allow their kids to play on the streets, as a once vibrant culture continues cannibalizing from within.

Failed Asylum Bid: Embattled Judge Faces Prison After Abandoning Vatican Embassy

Former Judge Francisco Arias Valera, who sought refuge  in the Apostolic Nunciature in Santo Domingo earlier this week, abandoned his plans to remain in the Embassy and now faces incarceration after embarrassing the Dominican Ministry of Justice.

Dominican prosecutors for a Court of Appeals in Santo Domingo are now claiming that Mr. Arias Valera violated the terms of his house arrest when he sought refuge in the Apostolic Nunciature, and want to send him to a place where he has allegedly sent many men who could not afford to pay him off.

The oldest Dominican daily, Listin Diario, reported that a decision on Mr. Arias Valera's freedom would be made on Wednesday, the 24th of August, but did not elaborate as to the reasons why the former judge abandoned his bid for asylum after less than a day.

It is possible that Mr. Arias Valera was denied asylum by his Holiness the Pope, but he told the large-circulation daily Diario Libre that he sought asylum in the Apostolic Nunciature because of his dire financial situation, and to disprove accusations that he took money in exchange for pardoning members of a gang of for-hire hitmen with ties to political figures. 

Mr. Arias Valera, who first alleged that he was seeking asylum after being pressured to implicate the former President of the Republic in a conspiracy to profit from pardoning suspects, now complains that his savings account has been frozen and that he's "financially suffocating."

Safer in prison than in his apartment. Diario Libre
If there was any weight to Mr. Arias Valera's assertions that President Danilo Medina and the President of the Senate, Reinaldo Pared Perez, were actively working to destroy the political future of their former party leader, those accusations are now clouded in doubt due to the former judge's revelations of his financial motivation for claiming asylum.

It may very well be the case that Mr. Arias Valera feels more safe inside of prison than outside, especially considering that he's a witness against the head of a hitmen mafia; his death could be easily attributed to his former confederates, but now all doubt will be on the President of the Republic, who may indeed be trying to stifle the political return of his predecessor and using an embattled judge to accomplish it.

Santo Domingo City Hall "Completely Broke"

The fastest-growing economy in Latin America is in the news again, this time for gross mismanagement of its finances. David Collado, the new Mayor of Santo Domingo, reported that the city's finances were in complete disarray, and that 43 million dollars were unaccounted for.

Mr. Collado is a member of the newly-created Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM,) which came second in the elections this past May, wrestling significant control away from the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD.)
A city bursting at the seams. Acento

The former Mayor of Santo Domingo, Roberto Salcedo, failed to pay the city's tax bill, according to Mr. Collado, with the revelation of the crisis facing the oldest European settlement in the Americas coming only with the unprecedented loss of the city by the PLD during the elections this year.

There is now rampant suspicion that other city halls throughout the country could also be hiding staggering amounts of debt, with the ruling party thought to be "cooking the books" for the entire country. 

According to the digital portal AlMomento, Mr. Collado reported that "bills keep coming in," and that he is not even certain of all the details surrounding the large debt left by his predecessor. 

So far, Mr. Salcedo has remained completely silent as to the financial status in which he left the capital of the Dominican Republic, seemingly having disappeared from the public limelight, something no one expected from the publicity-seeking former TV talk show host. 

Mr. Collado reported that the difficult situation which he has inherited means that the Santo Domingo City Hall will be forced to borrow millions of dollars on short notice just to pay its staff. 

The city will also be forced to perform a staff audit at the end of this month in order to determine which employees are redundant, leading to fears that many people could lose their jobs. 

The latest revelations about the dismal state of Santo Domingo's finances have already sent the populace into a fury, with many internet commentators demanding that the government bring criminal charges against someone in the former administration.

Dominican Judge Seeks Refuge in Vatican Embassy, Claims Conspiracy Against Former President

 Conspiracy against former Prez? Acento
A Dominican judge, under house arrest for "selling sentences" to individuals accused of crimes, has sought refuge in the Vatican Embassy in Santo Domingo, claiming that the current President of the Republic is forcing him to confess that former President Leonel Fernandez was also involved in selling sentences for cash.

The digital portal Acento reported today that Francisco Arias Valera read out a statement from behind the gates of the Apostolic Nunciature in Santo Domingo, alleging that the Dominican Public Ministry of Justice wants him to confess to crimes which he did not commit, and to also implicate the former Attorney General of the Republic.

Mr. Fernandez was responsible for bringing the Dominican Liberation Party to power in 1996, but his successor Danilo Medina is the one in control now, after amending the Constitution to seek re-election despite having promised not to do so.

Mr. Medina also announced a successor even before he was inaugurated for a second term just last week, possibly explaining the current political crisis engulfing the small Caribbean nation. Mr. Fernandez could announce his plans to run again, thus squashing Mr. Medina's succession plans. 

If the allegations by former Judge Arias Valera are true, and even if they are not, his words could plunge the Dominican Republic into uncertainty that could lead to a full-blown insurgency against the state. 

The presidential elections this past May were criticized by the entire opposition, who alleged fraud, and the nation saw extremely violent riots that could appear tame if Mr. Fernandez decides to seek the presidency in 2020.
According to Judge Arias Valera, President Medina and his successor Reinaldo Pared Perez are pushing for him to confess to crimes involving Mr. Fernandez, indicating heavily that the objective here is to eliminate Mr. Fernandez years before his presidential aspirations are made public. 

Judge Arias Valera, in his statement to the media from behind the gates of the Apostolic Nunciature, asked his Holiness the Pope that he accept his petition for asylum. 

The Vatican has not yet issued a statement.