HomeNewsBriefPolice Killings on the Rise in the Dominican Republic
BRIEF

Police Killings on the Rise in the Dominican Republic

CARIBBEAN / 2 JAN 2013 BY CLAIRE O NEILL MCCLESKEY EN

At least 290 people were killed by police in the Dominican Republic in 2012, amidst a backdrop of declining public safey and increased drug trafficking in this Caribbean nation.

Out of the more than 14,000 thefts and armed robberies reported last year, seven percent of the victims said that the police, or people dressed in police uniform, participated in the acts, according to Dominican Republic news source Hoy Digital.

The data is taken from the annual report released by the country's National Human Rights Commission (CNDH). The commission president told Hoy that there are likely many other cases of police killings and violence not represented in the statistics. The CNDH receives at least one complaint per day about extrajudicial executions by police, or victims caught in the crossfire during shootouts.

InSight Crime Analysis

Over the past two decades, the homicide rate in the Dominican Republic has nearly doubled, from 13 homicides per 100,000 residents in 1991 to 25 homicides per 100,000 in 2011. According to Amnesty International, the police are responsible, on average, for around 15 percent of all homicides. Between January and July 2011, 154 people were killed by the police, up from 125 in 2010. While the majority of police killings are officially reported as resulting from "exchanges of fire" during shootouts, there are many reports of extrajudicial executions by police, including the murder of criminal associates by corrupt police officers.

The National Police are widely mistrusted by the population due to the perception of endemic corruption and abuse. Over the past five years, over 500 police and soldiers have been fired due to ties with drug trafficking groups.

Some of the increased violence and corruption may stem from the Dominican Republic's growing role in the international drug trade and the increased presence of transnational criminal organizations. As pressure has increased on drug traffickers in Mexico and Central America, smugglers have begun relying more on sea routes through the Caribbean. Dominican officials have repeatedly warned that the Sinaloa Cartel and other foreign criminal groups are expanding their presence, while a number of foreign traffickers have been arrested inside the country.

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

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC / 8 MAR 2022

Dominican President Luis Abinader claims that constructing a 164-kilometer barrier along its border with Haiti will stop irregular migration and…

CARIBBEAN / 30 APR 2022

The arrest of a sitting head of government on drug trafficking charges is almost unheard of.

ELITES AND CRIME / 15 JUL 2022

Son of former Honduras President Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo Sosa by a well-armed commando has shocked the country.

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…