Group Asks Where The Money Goes

El Diario

By Jose Acosta

Fogon, [the Spanish acronym for] the New York Front of Community Organizations, is demanding that the groups in charge of collecting funds for the families of the victims of American Airlines Flight 587 provide detailed accounts of how the money was disbursed.

Fogon is comprised of 15 community organizations, among them: Destino 2000, headed by Jose Carbonell; the Comite del Dominicano en el Exterior (the Committee for Dominicans Abroad), directed by Miguel Padilla; Retorno Con Dignidad (Return with Dignity), led by Porfirio Rosso; Federacion de Mujeres Independientes (the Federation of Independent Women), presided over by Martin Reyes; and Nelson Pena’s Dominican Parade Committee.

At a press conference, Fogon announced that they will submit a petition to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to investigate the non-profit organizations who have been raising funds since 1998 to "supposedly help the victims of the families," when Hurricane George devastated the southern end of the Dominican Republic.

According to Maximo Padilla, president of Fogon, neither the Hispanic Federation nor any of the other organizations that have received the funds have been given a report "that truly convinces us of the destination of the raised funds," which has provoked "each day more complaints about the money's whereabouts."

"The New York Front of Community Organizations demands a truthful report about the thousands of dollars raised. In brief, we want to know who received the money" Padilla said.

Recently the Hispanic Federation revealed that it gave $55,000 to Alianza Dominicana; $10,000 to Audubon Partnership for Economic Development; $50,000 to the Asociacion Comunal de Dominicanos Progresistas (the Communal Association of Progressive Dominicans), among others.

Alianza Dominicana, through its executive director Moises Perez, revealed that it received $129,289, of which they still hold $58,881. The rest of the money will be used for emergency aid, according to a report issued by the group on February 6 of this year.

Lillian Rodriguez, of the Hispanic Federation, said, "this group (Fogon) has not contacted us." But later added that they would provide a report about the distribution of the raised funds. The report would include details of the money received by Alianza Dominicana from the Hispanic Federation.

Moises Perez, of Alianza Dominicana, was not in the city, Mireya Guerrero informed, adding that he is the only person that could give an explanation.

Translated from Spanish by Armando Reyes.

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