Local June 28, 2011 | 7:39 am

Dominican Government balks at Washington’s people trafficker label

Santo Domingo.- Foreign Relations minister Carlos Morales on Monday railed Washington’s accusations that Dominican Republic isn’t committed to fight people trafficking, and called the United States’ attempt to become a sort of referee in that arena, “unsuitable.”

Citing the U.S. Department’s yearly report, the official said the country is taking “concrete steps” to identify its weaknesses in legal aspects, procedures or institutional preparedness to effectively confront the problem, and cited the efforts to protect victims, prevention strategies which have dismantled important people trafficking rings, and the indictments of 60 people on that crime.

“The evidence are clearly exhibited in the State Department Report, where it’s stated that the Dominican Republic was the only country that with its advances in the matter, deserved to be raised from the last level to the intermediate level, and obtained the highest qualification for protecting more victims and make significant efforts to fulfill the minimum standards on protection and identification of victims” Morales said.

He said the authorities make efforts to investigate and prosecute traffickers, an American citizen accused of running a child prostitution network in Puerto Plata among them, and the 10 Americans arrested for trying to traffic 33 Haitian children towards Dominican Republic.

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