HomeNewsBriefPurge, Arrest, Investigation Highlight Corruption in Dominican Republic
BRIEF

Purge, Arrest, Investigation Highlight Corruption in Dominican Republic

CARIBBEAN / 28 AUG 2013 BY CHARLES PARKINSON EN

Authorities in the Dominican Republic have arrested an ex-soldier on drugs charges, forcibly retired 68 police officers for misconduct, and re-opened a money laundering investigation into a former president, highlighting how corruption pervades public institutions in the Caribbean nation.

Dominican police arrested a former first lieutenant of the army as part of an organized crime bust in which 20 kilos of cocaine, a dozen firearms, and military equipment were seized.

On the same day, police announced the purge of the 68 officers -- among them three colonels -- from its ranks. While most were removed for personal and professional misconduct, at least one was linked to criminal groups.

Both announcements were made just a day after a corruption and money laundering case against ex-President Leonel Fernandez was re-opened after a former prosecutor and political rival appealed against the May annulment of investigations into his conduct during three presidential terms, the last of which ended in August 2012.

InSight Crime Analysis

The Dominican Republic, an important transhipment point for US-bound drugs trafficked by both air and sea, has been plagued in recent years by accusations of corruption and complicity in drug trafficking among security forces, including high-ranking officers.

Earlier this year, a former presidential candidate faced accusations he took bribes from a drug lord, while last year the United States revoked the visas of three of Leonel Fernandez’s closest advisors for alleged drug ties. The investigation into Fernandez suggests even the top leadership of the Dominican Republic is involved with organized crime.

In recent years, the Dominican Republic has cooperated extensively with the US and other regional partners on drug interdiction programs and has made some significant busts in 2013, although claims in February that air trafficking had been “essentially eliminated,” quickly proved to be unfounded.

Despite this progress, the endemic corruption seen in the military, the police force and politics -- stretching up into the highest levels -- serves as a barrier to successful anti-drug efforts.

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 / 14 JUN 2021

An alliance of Haitian gangs, known as G9, may be at risk as two of its founding members have fought…

CARIBBEAN / 31 AUG 2021

More than two weeks after an earthquake devastated Haiti and killed at least 2,200 people, criminal gangs are still shaking…

CARIBBEAN / 30 APR 2022

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

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…