Police occupy neighborhood amid drug violence
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -- Hundreds of Dominican
soldiers and police on Saturday occupied a Santo Domingo neighborhood
after a night of protests that erupted after police shot to death a suspect.
The police and soldiers raided homes and searched residents in Capotillo
northern Santo Domingo, seizing 108 guns and arresting 120 people, mostly on
drug and arms charges, said police spokesman Nelson Rosario.
Dozens of officers were still patrolling the neighborhood on Friday night
show of force meant to stave of further unrest.
Violent protests erupted in the neighborhood Friday night after 17-year-old
Laury Amancio Medina was shot to death in a shootout with drug dealers, said
Col. Jacobo Mateo Moquete, spokesman for the National Drug Control
Directorate. Several bystanders were also injured by the gunfire.
It was unclear if any of the suspects were also injured.
Police officers were pursuing suspected cocaine dealers and were shot at
suspects, Moquete said. The police shot back and the teen-age suspect died in
the crossfire, he said.
Investigators believed the teen-age suspect may have been shot by bullets
by the alleged drug dealers, he said.
Capotillo is one of the poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods in
capital and armed confrontations between police and suspects are not
On Friday night, demonstrators behind burning barricades threw rocks at
and blocked car traffic through the area.
The protests also spread to surrounding neighborhoods.
In an unrelated protest, demonstrators angry over constant blackouts blocked
the highway to the Las Americas International Airport for several hours on
Protests have erupted and spread across the Caribbean country during the
month over high gasoline prices, power outages, alleged police violence against
demonstrators and the promised public works projects.
In all, eight people have been killed in the protests and dozens have been
Four have been killed in Capotillo.
Witnesses blame the police for most of the deaths.
President Hipolito Mejia has ordered a commission to investigate two deaths
occurred last week in Capotillo.
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press.