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.

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.

Related Content

CARIBBEAN / 18 JAN 2012

According to police statistics, Jamaica murders rates are at their lowest point in eight years. This is despite the general…

BELIZE / 29 APR 2014

Authorities in Belize have reported a ceasefire between gangs in the south of the country's largest city following a surge…

CARIBBEAN / 16 FEB 2011

Reports from the Dominican Republic warn of the presence of Russian and Italian mafia on the island, buying up land, perhaps…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Strategic Communications Manager Job Description

12 FEB 2021

InSight Crime is looking for a full-time strategic communications manager. This person needs to be able to work in a fast-paced world of daily news, high-profile investigations, national and international…

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …