During the inaugural ceremony of the installation of the Ministry of the Interior and Police’s strategy “De Vuelta al Barrio” in this province, the Dominican sports immortals exalted in the Cooperstown Hall of Fame, Vladimir Guerrero and David Ortiz (Big Papi), urged young people to study and get away from vices and delinquency.
The fifth version of the program, which has multi-sectoral support, was dedicated to former baseball player Vladimir Guerrero, who, upon receiving his award, thanked the organization and shared his award with all the players who have made it to the Major Leagues.
The immortals of the sport in “De Vuelta al Barrio”
Vladimir Guerrero said that he is convinced that many more young people will be able to reach this achievement and that they will put “Baní on high”.
Meanwhile, David Ortiz, thanked the distinction and assured the young people that the only thing that can guarantee success and improvement is education. “Educate yourselves, listen to your parents, stay away from street vices. All values are at home… Those who are fortunate enough to have responsible parents, take care of them, they are your best friends. Remember that everything in life needs a process and that without that process there is no happiness”.
Ortiz also received the award given to Juan Marichal, the first Dominican to be inducted into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame, who was unable to attend.
Together with Pedro Martínez, he was defined ambassador of “De Vuelta al Barrio” because they have supported the initiative since its inception in March, which is part of the Citizen Security Strategy “Mi País Seguro” and is already operating successfully in La Romana, Distrito Nacional, Santiago and Santo Domingo Oeste.
Dominican Republic is not an unsafe country
Delivering the keynote address, the Minister of Interior and Police, Jesús Vásquez Martínez, affirmed that the Dominican Republic is not an unsafe country, which was evidenced in the Global Study of Homicides released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, where it was revealed that the nation registers one of the lowest average homicide rates in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In addition, he highlighted that in the Global Peace Index 2023, of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the country went from position 88, which it had in 2022, to 83 and that it is not included in the register of the 50 most violent cities in the world.
“An unsafe country is not visited by as many tourists, an unsafe country does not have daily mobility as it does today. The Dominican Republic is a country in constant growth. Let us take care of this beautiful land in which we have had the joy of being born,” he proclaimed.
On the other hand, he revealed that, since the beginning of the program, they have managed to impact 35,000 young people.
He said that in eight months they have given preventive talks on ethics, transparency, honesty and sports clinics with stellar figures and in addition they have joined efforts to fix courts, provide sports equipment, illuminate streets and encourage education, art and culture in young people.
Vásquez Martínez recalled that the MIP is developing other programs within “Mi País Seguro”, such as the Network of Community Leaders Conflict Mediators, Illuminating the Country and Police Reform, initiatives which, together with “De Vuelta al Barrio”, have begun to yield good results.
During the ceremony, the journalists Miguel Franjul, from Banilejo and director of the newspaper Listín Diario, who received the award from Vásquez Martínez and his colleague, also from Banilejo, Pablo Mckinney, were also recognized.
Franjul expressed his gratitude to the minister and praised the work that has brought together valuable Dominicans to make them visible as examples to follow.
“Baní is a mine of talents… it is a quarry of good people”, he emphasized, and commented that the great glories of sports, literature, the arts, political leaders, among other figures, are a living testimony of this reality.
Meanwhile, the nun María José was awarded for her work and legacy to the children and young people of Banilejo with the creation of the Carlos Manuel Mckinney Music School, in which the residents of vulnerable sectors discover and potentiate their talents.
Félix Mejía, an entrepreneur from Banilejo, was recognized as an example of self-improvement. After thanking for being taken into account, he narrated part of his success story and said that his clear mission, preparation and focus were crucial to his success.
Plastic artists elaborated a work donated to the Perelló Cultural Center.
A novelty was the exhibition of the national flag and that of the “De Vuelta al Barrio” program from helicopters by the Dominican Republic Air Force (FARD). Both banners were handed over during the activity to the Minister and to the Vice Minister of Internal Security, Jesús Féliz, who coordinated the program in Baní.
The fifth version of “De Vuelta al Barrio” was blessed by Monsignor Faustino Burgos and enlivened by the Ballet Folklórico de Baní and the national anthem, interpreted at the beginning of the event, by the San Judas Tadeo choir of the National Police.