HomeNewsBrief'Drug Gang' Attacks on Dominican Republic Journalist Highlight Organized Crime Threat
BRIEF

'Drug Gang' Attacks on Dominican Republic Journalist Highlight Organized Crime Threat

CARIBBEAN / 3 JUL 2014 BY MIMI YAGOUB EN

A recent series of attacks against a journalist in the Dominican Republic illustrates the tactics used to silence those investigating the drug trade in the country, where international criminal organizations have been increasing their presence.

On June 30, gunmen fired on journalist Pedro Fernandez's car as he drove through the town of San Francisco de Macoris, Reporters Without Borders reported. The incident came days after attackers threw tear gas bombs into Fernandez's home, leaving a message threatening to kill him if he did not stop "attacking" drug sales points in the city. On both occasions, the journalist escaped unharmed.

Fernandez -- who is a correspondent for El Nacional newspaper and a TV producer -- has received death threats since he reported on drug sales points in San Francisco de Macoris and the murder of 12 people, reported Acento. Fernandez announced in January that he was the target of an assassination plot.

Authorities have claimed the attacks against Fernandez are the result of a debt his son owes the drug trafficker Julio Paula Grullon Paula, alias "Yuyo." Fernandez rejected this claim, accusing the police and the Attorney General's Office of collaborating with drug traffickers. 

InSight Crime Analysis

A source in the Dominican Republic consulted by InSight Crime said the recent attacks against Fernandez were thought to be carried out by local groups working on behalf of transnational organizations with operations in the country.

The nation has seen a sharp increase in cocaine seizures in recent years, and there is evidence that transnational drug trafficking organizations, including the Sinaloa Cartel, have established operations in the country.

Local gangs have reportedly forged ties with these transnational groups, and some appear to be adopting tactics typical of more sophisticated organizations, such as the intimidation of judicial authorities and attacks on journalists.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of the Dominican Republic

In 2011, journalist Jose Agustin Silvestre was kidnapped and murdered after reporting on ties between drug traffickers and a local businessman, according to reports.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

CARIBBEAN / 6 DEC 2010

Dominican authorities yesterday seized a plane carrying a shipment of drugs en route to Puerto Rico and arrested the two…

CARIBBEAN / 26 JUN 2014

US Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield said the assassination of a leading attorney in Trinidad and Tobago was orchestrated…

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC / 7 DEC 2011

In an effort to battle organized crime, the governments of Mexico and the Dominican Republic have signed a new security…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…