On Sunday, October 14, the National Transport Federation (Fenatrano) trade union called for a march to be held in Santo Domingo on Wednesday, October 17, to protest government corruption and rising fuel prices. The demonstration, led by transportation workers, is expected to halt passenger transport throughout the country. The march will begin on Winston Churchill Avenue and end at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, where an associated rally will be held. Fenatrano has also called for a march on Wednesday, October 24, beginning at Enriquillo Park and ending at the National Palace, and a general strike in the Cibao region on Monday, October 29.
In response, the Defense Ministry ordered 50 percent of the military's total personnel to general quarters on October 14 ahead of the expected demonstrations. The military stated it would deploy to major thoroughfares and may disperse protests on major avenues. Clashes between military personnel and protesters are to be expected over the coming days.
Protests in Santo Domingo took place on October 9 in response to continuing fuel price spikes in recent months. Prices of petroleum derivatives in the country have experienced increases this year, decreasing the purchasing power of consumers. Gasoline prices rose by almost DOP 31 (USD 0.63) per gallon and diesel oil prices increased by DOP 43 (USD 0.87) last year. In May 2018, another DOP 2-3 (USD 0.04-0.06)-per-gallon increase in fuel prices was reported. As of mid-October, regular gasoline is sold at DOP 191.5 (3.87 USD) per gallon.
Individuals are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations due to the possibility of violence, anticipate potential transportation disruptions, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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