Dominican Protests Subside
Sep. 16, 2002
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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) _ Private power companies restored electricity Sunday after the government paid part a debt, easing violent protests over blackouts. Four days of rioting in poor Santo Domingo neighborhoods have left two people dead and dozens injured.
Seven generators were reconnected after the government paid $90 million owed to the electric sector, said Cesar Sanchez, manager of the Dominican Electric Corp. The government reportedly owes $200 million.
Children played on the streets of Capotillo neighborhood where piles of charred tires and garbage remained after four days of protests that began Wednesday. Two people were killed and more than 50 were injured in clashes between protesters, who threw rocks and homemade fire bombs, and police officers, who retaliated by firing tear gas.
``Everything is quiet today,'' said Catholic priest Fermin Fermin.
President Hipolito Mejia is expected to announce an agreement Tuesday with generators and distributors that would end the blackouts.
The agreement, which has not yet been disclosed, is likely to include an increase in consumer prices, the elimination of state subsidies, and stronger controls to prevent people from stealing power.