HomeNewsBriefDominican Narco Alleges Ex-President Took Drug Money
BRIEF

Dominican Narco Alleges Ex-President Took Drug Money

CARIBBEAN / 10 FEB 2015 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

One of the Dominican Republic's most notorious drug traffickers has claimed he financed the political campaigns of former president Leonel Fernandez in new revelations that go to the heart of connections between drugs and politics in the country.

In comments to TV news program Hilando Fino, former Dominican army captain and convicted drug trafficker Quirino Ernesto Paulino Castillo claimed he financed the 2002 and 2004 election campaigns of ex-President Fernandez, who he said owes him nearly $4.5 million, reported El Nacional.

"He knew who I was and he knew the money I was giving him for his campaign was dirty," Paulino told journalist Salvador Holguin.

Paulino also claimed he paid for a $200,000 power plant as a donation to Fernandez's Global Democracy and Development Foundation (FUNGLODE).

The interview followed the publication of a letter Paulino sent to Fernandez, who left the president's office in 2012, but remains head of the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD). In the letter, Paulino demanded the repayment of a $222,000 loan and criticized Fernandez for accepting his money then later approving his extradition to the United States.

Paulino was released from a US prison last year after serving a reduced sentence for collaborating with the US authorities. He was extradited in 2005 after he was caught with 1.3 tons of cocaine he was planning to ship to the United States.

InSight Crime Analysis

The accusations made by Paulino are the latest twist in a case that has revealed the depths of corruption in the Dominican Republic and the level to which drug trafficking has infiltrated state institutions and politics.

At the time of his rise in drug trafficking, Paulino was not only an army captain; he had also been working as a regional campaign manager and was a major donor for Fernandez's electoral rival, ex-President Hipolito Mejia.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of the Dominican Republic

When Paulino was arrested, police also captured a lieutenant colonel from the national police, who was travelling in the cocaine-laden vehicle with him.

While Paulino was captured over a decade ago, his alleged former allies are still heavyweights in the world of Dominican politics. Meanwhile, more recent scandals, such as allegations that the country's anti-narcotics police have been operating as a drug trafficking organization, suggest corruption is still endemic in the security forces.

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

BARRIO 18 / 23 MAR 2017

Authorities in El Salvador say a former mayor who was arrested last year had ordered gang members to kill a…

CARIBBEAN / 22 SEP 2011

Honduras’ security and defense ministers met with their Jamaican counterparts in Tegucigalpa to sign a pact strengthening security cooperation as…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 3 JUN 2022

Seizures of military-style assault weapons in the Dominican Republic are raising concerns that criminal groups are accessing powerful firearms smuggled…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Criminal Enterprise on the High Seas

12 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an extensive investigation into Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing that plagues the waters of nine Latin American countries. Among the stories were how…

THE ORGANIZATION

Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…