Greenfield Ramping Up Pressure On Dakar Rally Sponsors to Help Push for Release of Yanky Ostreicher

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yanky-ostreicherCouncilman David Greenfield is stepping up the pressure on the Bolivian government to release Brooklyn resident Yanky Ostreicher from incarceration in Bolivia by asking the main sponsors of the 2014 Dakar Rally to join the push to end this miscarriage of justice. In a letter sent this week, Councilman Greenfield requests that the race’s corporate sponsors including Honda, Red Bull, Michelin and Mitsubishi join him in formally requesting that Bolivia immediately release Mr. Ostreicher, who has been held for two years without formal criminal charges. If the Bolivian authorities refuse, Councilman Greenfield is asking the race sponsors and organizers to divert the portion of the Dakar Rally that is planned for Bolivia.

The Dakar Rally is an off-road race held each year by the Amaury Sport Organization and is recognized as one of the world’s major sporting events. The route generally ran between Paris, France and Dakar, Senegal each year from its inception in 1978 until 2008, when the rally was canceled due to security threats. In 2009, the Dakar Rally was moved to South America, marking the first time it was held outside Europe and Africa. For the first time, a portion of the 2014 race course is slated to run through Bolivia, which will bring major international exposure and huge revenues to the nation.

“In light of this clear miscarriage of justice being perpetrated by the Bolivian government in an unlawful attempt to seize Mr. Ostreicher’s business and assets, I was deeply disappointed in the decision to route the 2014 Dakar Rally through Bolivia,” Councilman Greenfield wrote in the July 2 letter to event sponsors. “In response, I am respectfully asking that all Dakar Rally sponsors formally request that the Bolivian government immediately release Mr. Ostreicher and allow him to return home to his family in Brooklyn. If the Bolivian authorities deny this request, race sponsors and organizers should reroute the event from Bolivia.”

Mr. Ostreicher was arrested in June 2011 by Bolivian authorities in Santa Cruz while overseeing a rice-growing agriculture venture that he had invested in. After being held in the infamous Palmasola prison for more than a year, Mr. Ostreicher has been under house arrest in Bolivia since his release from prison in December. Since then, a number of Bolivian officials have been arrested and charged with participating in an extortion scheme against Mr. Ostreicher. However, despite ample evidence proving his innocence, Mr. Ostreicher continues to be held as his health deteriorates, despite never having been formally charged with breaking any laws. Among those also fighting on Mr. Ostreicher’s behalf is actor and humanitarian Sean Penn, who recently said that race sponsors must “bring their influence to bear” and demand that the Bolivian portion of the Dakar Rally be cancelled unless Mr. Ostreicher is immediately released from house arrest.

“It is my belief that the threat of losing the exposure and revenue the Dakar Rally brings for host nations is the best leverage against the Bolivian government in the fight for justice for Mr. Ostreicher,” Councilman Greenfield noted in his letter to sponsors. “Race sponsors, organizers and supporters of Mr. Ostreicher now have the opportunity to end this sham prosecution and finally win justice for this American citizen who is facing the prospect of a life sentence in a foreign country despite never having been charged with a crime.”

In addition, Councilman Greenfield is asking all New Yorkers to join him in signing an online petition at to help demand Mr. Ostreicher’s immediate and long-overdue release.

“This travesty has gone on for far too long for Jacob Ostreicher and his family here in Brooklyn. We now have a chance to have our voices heard and demand that this miscarriage of justice finally come to an end. I hope that Dakar Rally sponsors will join myself and the many residents, elected officials and activists in calling on the Bolivian government to release Mr. Ostreicher, and if not, divert this lucrative race away from Bolivia’s borders,” concluded Councilman Greenfield.

{Andy Newscenter}


  1. I think David Greenfield should immediately summon the President of Bolivia to City Hall and give him a dressing down. Furthermore, Mr. Greenfield should curtly advise the president that until Yanky is released, NYC will boycott all goods and travel to and from Bolivia.

    That ought to do the trick.


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