Dominican Lawyer, Guillermo Moreno García, Announces his run for the Presidency: He Could be a way out of his Country’s Traditionally Sordid PoliticsBy: Andrea Mares, Research Associate at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs
Guillermo Moreno García, who served as Attorney General of the Dominican Republic from 1996 to 1997, also was a presidential candidate for the Movement for Independence, Unity and Change (Movimiento Independencia, Unidad y Cambio – MIUCA) during the country’s 2008 elections. After his defeat in those elections, Moreno García created his own leftist party, Alianza País, and will run for the presidency again in the upcoming 2012 elections. His supporters hope that his various accomplishments will cast his candidacy in a positive light and raise his popularity.
Perhaps one of Moreno García’s most noticeable achievements was his involvement in the Orlando Martínez case. A famed Dominican journalist, Orlando Martínez Howley was killed on March 17, 1975 during the rule of former President Joaquín Balaguer (1960-1962, 1966-1978, 1986-1996). This president’s second term became known as the “12 years of Balaguer,” a very dark era in Dominican history due to Balaguer’s totalitarian inclinations. Orland Martínez Howley was just one of hundreds of young people killed or “disappeared” during this period. Although General Joaquín Pou Castro participated in this violent crime against Martínez, neither he nor the other involved perpetrators were persecuted at the time. In fact, justice began to be acheived only when Dominican Republic opinion forced Balaguer to jail the murderers. But in a matter of weeks, the government released the detainees and even promoted them.
These perpetrators remained free for 22 years, until Guillermo Moreno García reopened the case just months after assuming the position as attorney general in 1996. His dedication paid off as the people responsible for this crime, including former General Joaquín Pou Castro, were effectively prosecuted. Thanks to the diligence of Moreno García, the family of Orlando Martínez Howley, and the many others who fell victim to the crimes of these men, finally have closure.
Aside from his work on the Orlando Martínez Howley case, Moreno García has numerous other achievements. He is known for his fight against corruption, his interest and strong advocacy for human rights, and for his modernization of the country’s bureaucracy. He also has served as a professor, dean and director for over two decades at prestigious educational institutions in the Dominican Republic, such as La Universidad Iberoamericana and la Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra. In addition, Moreno García has authored many political tracts and several books.
Alianza País’ website claims that it differs from traditional parties because it “has a new form of making politics and of exercising power without ticks, without corruption and without clientelism”. In order to make sure that these pledges come to press, Moreno García plans to have a government that places an emphasis on honesty. He will also be making changes to the current economic model, the definition of national sovereignty and the protection of the individual citizens. He will be running against the candidates of two major political parties in the Dominican Republic, the center-right Dominican Liberation Party (Partido de la Liberación Dominicana – PLD), whose candidate will be Danilo Medina, and the center-left Dominican Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Dominicano – PRD), whose candidate is Hipólito Mejía.
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