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Priest in Dominican Republic denounces existence of centers to train children for organized crime

During a homily at a mass for peace and against violence in the Immaculate Conception parish church of Santo Domingo this week, Brother Arístides Jiménez Richardson, Coordinator of the Prison Pastoral Ministry of the Catholic Church in the Dominican Republic, denounced the existence of centers in the country for the training of children for organized crime.

Santo Domingo, Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jiménez said that children and adolescents are taken out of their neighborhoods to be trained and turned into hired killers, in order to be used in the interests of organized crime in the Dominican Republic.   

The priest, who visits the jails regularly, pointed out that most of the crimes that take place throughout the country are planned in the prisons, which is what also occurs in neighboring countries that have a better economy and social conditions, even though the prisons have all of the logistical means for guaranteeing security.      

Jiménez also called on the authorities of the Dominican Republic to immerse themselves in the matter of eliminating the scourge of organized crime that places children at risk, and on Human Rights organizations to also monitor and denounce, and urged those present at the mass to constantly pray for a diminishing of the rates of crime and murder in the country.  

In another part of his homily, Jiménez affirmed that the National Congress intends to approve, as soon as possible, a reform of Law 224 that has to do with the prison system, without first carrying out a process of consultation with specialists who can help with the work needed on this sensitive and important topic.  

"If the legislation does not respond to prudence and dialogue, there could be problems with its application,” said Jiménez, who believes that for that very same reason some of the legislation passed has not been agreeable with the people, the people going one way and the laws another, not taking into consideration the culture of the people and because of decisions being taken far too quickly, where some legislators take advantage of their friendship with other voters. 

"The Prison Pastoral Ministry has something to say and has a lot of authority for that, because it is inside the jails every day, evangelizing, educating and rehabilitating the human beings that have caused damaged to others," said Jiménez, who appealed to the consciences of the legislative representatives, asking that before giving their approval to a reform of Law 224, that they listen to the civil society, the religious leaders at all levels, and also the people themselves who have a right to express their opinion on the issue, as so many times it is their children who are victims of this macabre mechanism. 

Photo: Brother Arístides Jiménez Richardson (dominicanosennoticias) 


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Latin America and Caribbean Communication Agency (ALC)
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