The three main political parties reacted. The PLD was activated to defend its leaders, the FP requested respect for due process and the PRM called on the militancy to refrain from expressing an opinion.
There are several ingredients that give an intense political smell to Operation Squid. The latest anti-corruption case brought three of the most influential ministers of Danilo Medina’s government to the bench, looked at the mentions of the former president in the corruption files and crossed a line that had not been crossed until now, reaching the Political Committee of the Party of the Dominican Liberation (PLD).
The anti-corruption operation that covers the most weighty political leaders, including the past presidential candidate of the PLD, Gonzalo Castillo, was launched with just under 11 months to go before the municipal votes of February 2024 and fourteen for the presidential and congressional elections in May of the next year.
The fact implies that the knowledge of the measures of coercion and the revision of the same will be developed simultaneously with the start of the electoral campaign.
The Calamar case occurred after 16 months of inaction by the Public Ministry in corruption cases. The last one presented was on November 18, Coral 5G, which included former President Medina’s second-in-command of security, General Julio de los Santos Viola and Juan Carlos Torres Robiou, former head of the Specialized Tourist Security Corps (Cestur).
Also during this period, internal clashes have occurred in the Public Ministry, between the attorney general, Miriam Germán, who in public positions contradicted attitudes of instances such as the Special Prosecutor for the Prosecution of Administrative Corruption (Pepca), for criticizing members of the Power Judicial.
The absence of the issue of corruption and impunity in the extensive accountability speech, two hours and 38 minutes, by President Luis Abinader on February 27, generated surprise.
There are reasons for astonishment because until then the flagship speech of his management had been the independent Public Ministry to face impunity in corruption cases. In search of that purpose, a reform of the Constitution of the Republic was even promoted, at some point.
Added to the cocktail of political ingredients in the Calamar case is the accusation of illicit campaign financing affirmed by Pepca as stated in the request for the search warrant against the defendants. As close as in the second paragraph of that document, the internal primaries of the PLD in 2019 are cited as the beginning of the search for public funds to finance Castillo’s candidacy that had the support of the then president, Medina.
Those elections gave rise to the division of the PLD and at the time, Leonel Fernánez, who was president of the PLD, former president of the Republic and a candidate in that contest, denounced the use of state power against him.
From the very coast of the ruling Modern Revolutionary Party (PRM) they have seasoned with politics the file that has 20 defendants and in addition to Castillo the former Minister of Finance, Donald Guerrero and administrator of the Presidency, José Ramón Peralta.
Former President Hipólito Mejía, the second most important figure in the official party, has been critical of the independent Public Ministry, and in this case he once again stressed that he does not believe in that bet and that he does not support retaliation. However, Mejía said that those who commit malicious acts must pay.
What has put the lid on the knob is the reaction of the PLD, which went from a passive attitude towards three previous cases, Antipulpo, Coral and Coral 5G, to an active attitude and response. The leadership declared itself in permanent session and called on the militancy to protest in a civilized manner. The peledeístas in the streets have been felt since Sunday night.
On Monday they made themselves felt at the Ciudad Nueva Palace of Justice and at night, they filmed the images with candlelight in different parts of the country, as a protest against the actions of the Public Ministry. Next Sunday the PLD convened the Central Committee to find out the method of selecting the candidates, but announced that it will make other decisions related to the actions before the submissions.