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Cablegate: Addendum to Request for Concurrence in Visa

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SANTO DOMINGO 004904

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR CA/VO/L/C, WHA/CAR (MCISAAC), L/LEI (W.
FUENTES AND M. TAYLOR);

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/29/2014
TAGS: CVIS CJAN PREL PGOV SNAR KCRM DR
SUBJECT: ADDENDUM TO REQUEST FOR CONCURRENCE IN VISA
REVOCATION 212(A)(2)(C) (CESPEDES MARTINEZ, VICTOR MANUEL)

REF: SANTO DOMINGO 4401

Classified By: DCM Lisa Kubiske for Reason 1.5 (b) and (d).

1. (C) SUMMARY. In reftel, Embassy requested Department's
concurrence in the revocation of the B1/B2 visa of now former
Attorney General Victor Cespedes under section 212(a)(2)(C)
of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Following that
cable, just two days before leaving office, Cespedes ordered
the early release from prison of a former Dominican
vice-consul in Haiti who was sentenced to ten years in prison
for trafficking 43 kilograms of cocaine. This is yet another
example, in our opinion, of why the visa should be revoked.

END SUMMARY.

2. (C) In July, Embassy sent reftel outlining the case for
revocation of the B1/B2 visa of now former Attorney General
Victor Cespedes under section 212(a)(2)(C) of the Immigration
and Nationality Act. Cespedes left office on August 16 when
power transferred to a new government.

3. (U) On August 14, just two days before leaving office,
Cespedes ordered the release from prison of former Dominican
vice-consul to Haiti Ormis Freddy Pena Mendez. Pena was
arrested in 2002 along with four others while trafficking
nearly 43 kilograms of cocaine from Haiti to Santo Domingo.
Pena was also found with 15,000 pesos (about USD 400), USD
5,000, 16 passports (11 Haitian, four Dominican, and one
French) and several firearms, including an Uzi. About two
months later, Pena was sentenced to 10 years in prison and
ordered to pay a 50,000 peso fine (about USD 1,250).

4. (U) According to news reports, Cespedes said he released
Pena because of concerns for Pena's health, including
hypertension and diabetes. (Note: The Directorate of Prisons
reported in July that 15% of all Dominican prisoners have
hypertension.) At this point Pena had served less than two
years of his sentence. In a radio interview on August 25
Cespedes was unable to recall the details of the health
justification for the release.

5. (U) In addition, only hours before the change of
government the Attorney General's office ordered that
prisoner Martiza Aquino be released on medical grounds.
Aquino is accused of carrying 129 bags of heroin in her
stomach.

6. (U) On August 26 new Attorney General Dominguez Brito
ordered the return to jail of Pena and Aquino and announced a
formal investigation into the release of prisoners for health
reasons. He said that his office was investigating
apparently unjustified additions to the list of prisoners
recommended for pardons, indicating that the changes had been
made in the Attorney General's office. The new Attorney
General has placed a formal prohibition upon Cespedes from
leaving the country (a precautionary measure also taken in
regard to a number of other Mejia administration officials).

7. (C) COMMENT. Cespedes has a record of releasing known
drug traffickers (see reftel). When viewed as part of a
pattern of behavior, the Pena and Aquino cases reinforce the
argument set forth in reftel, which is that Cespedes has
aided, abetted, conspired or colluded in trafficking
activities and that revocation of his visa is proper. END
COMMENT.
KUBISKE

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