SANTIAGO, Dominican Republic – Thousands of people demonstrated on Sunday in the northern Dominican province of Santiago to demand that officials involved in taking bribes from Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht be brought to trial.
The protest was called by the Marcha Verde social collective, which on Jan. 22 had convened thousands of people in the capital against corruption and impunity after the release of the first news of the Odebrecht case, namely that the firm had paid $92 million in bribes in the country between 2001-2014 to obtain public works contracts.
The march on Sunday in Santiago, 155 kilometers (96 miles) north of Santo Domingo, was supported by thousands of citizens, a number of opposition politicians and well-known figures from the nation’s communications media.
The protesters gathered at the emblematic Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration, where a manifesto was read demanding that the authorities undertake timely action to confront corruption and impunity.
In remarks to the press, Raquel Rivera, the spokesperson for the Coordinator of the Women of Cibao and the Feminist Mirabal Sisters Movement, two of the organizations coordinating the protest, said that it was “a clear and precise demonstration of what the people want, which is an end to corruption.”
In December 2016, the US Department of Justice released documents in which it detailed alleged bribes amounting to $788 million paid by Odebrecht in 12 Latin American and African nations, including the Dominican Republic.