The 121-year old Listin Diario was sold to a group of investors this week.
According to the BusinessWeek article, two of the owners are Juan Bautista Vicini Lluberes and media mogul Jose Luis “Pepin” Corripio. Vicini owns the sugar interests in the Dominican Republic.
The buyers are taking the paper off the hands of the Dominican government.
The government got the paper after banker Ramon Baez Figueroa, head of Banco Intercontinental, almost alone caused the economic collapse of the country’s economy in 2003.
Figueroa bought the paper in 2000. The government took over Figueroa’s holdings, including the paper.
Just how fair and balanced the paper will be is up for debate given the power and influence of its investors.
The Vicini family has been notorious for trying to stop any investigations of the treatment their Haitian workforce in the sugar fields. They have petitioned the Dominican government and the Vatican to have a “troublesome priest” removed.
The Vicinis also worked VERY hard to stop circulation of the movie, The Price of Sugar, around the world. The family claimed the movie, which accurately depicted the destitute situation of the Haitian workers in the sugar fields.
What the Vicinis don’t own in the Dominican Republic, the joke goes, the Corripios do.
With the exception of the now defunct Clave Digital most newspapers in the Dominican un-ashamedly pull their punches when it comes to economic issues affecting their owners. (And show me a U.S. newspaper that does any different at times.)
It will be interesting to see what Listin does now that it is owned by the most powerful economic forces in the country. (Why do I think there will be fewer reports on corporate corruption?)