Military Killing Inmates with Impunity, Chaplain Says

Asks Response from Dominican Republic´s Leaders

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, AUG. 5, 2001 ( Inmates in this Caribbean nation are being killed with impunity by the country´s military, a prison chaplain says.

Father Christopher Hartley, chaplain of the General Pedro Santana prison in San Pedro de Marcoris, made the disclosure Saturday after officiating at the funeral of a prisoner.

Torture and sexual abuse in prisons were denounced by the priest during the homily of a Mass celebrated in the spot where prisoner Victor Manuel Espíritu Santo was killed.

Father Hartley revealed that the deceased, who was a convert and a catechist, was shot in the back by an army soldier. The priest demanded that the soldier be prosecuted.

A Church investigation showed that, contrary to media reports, the soldiers involved in the incident had not just fired into the air, the chaplain said.

«The death of our brother Victor Manuel Espíritu Santo is not the first murder that is committed at the hands of the national army in this infamous place,» the priest added. «In the name of the state, much blood has been spilt in the courtyard of this prison.»

He also called for an end to the abuse of prisoners´ relatives, especially women who visit their loved ones, and to the theft of pocket money that relatives bring to prisoners.

In a letter to the republic´s president and judicial authorities, Father Hartley requested an immediate solution to the problems in the prison.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation