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Protests Over The Odebrecht Scandal Touches this Caribbean Island

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This man even died his beard green in protest. (Photo credit: ERIKA SANTELICES/AFP/Getty Images)

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, New York, NY, Fri. July 21, 2017: Tens of thousands of people in one Caribbean island are hopping mad! So mad in fact, that they took to the streets earlier this week, all dressed in green. One man even died his beard green in protest.

Their source of complaint? That pesky Brazilian Odebrecht scandal that won’t go away and whose tentacles continue to emerge again and again, this time in one Caribbean nation where the unemployment rate is just under 14 percent.

Tens of thousands of mostly young protesters flooded the streets of the capital of the Dominican Republic on Sunday in the biggest demonstration of anger over corruption in decades.

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Thousands took to the street in protest on July 16 2017. (Photo credit: ERIKA SANTELICES/AFP/Getty Images)

The protest came following a landmark bribery case against top officials. Temistocles Montas, a close ally of President Danilo Medina, and Victor Diaz Rua, the ruling party’s treasurer, have been jailed and six others are under house arrest as they await trial.

The others who were indicted are out on bail. Montas, who denies wrongdoing, resigned as trade minister after the charges.

The scandal is weighing on the ruling Dominican Liberation Party, which will face a presidential election in 2020.

The demonstration on Sunday overflowed across a six-lane thoroughfare in Santo Domingo as protestors called for the country’s president and other top officials to resign.

Organizers said Dominican immigrants marched in protests in other cities such as Miami, New York and Madrid as part of the so-called Marcha Verde, or Green March, movement that has staged demonstrations since January.

The protest was the biggest of seven demonstrations since January that followed an investigation revealing executives from Brazilian engineering company Odebrecht paid $92 million in bribes to officials from the DR.