Expert tells US lawmakers why Dominican barrios anticrime plan failed
Santo Domingo.- The lack of change in the National Police and of its coordination with the Interior and Police Ministry were cited by security policies consultant Eduardo A. Gamarra as some of the main factors which doomed the “Barrio Seguro” (Safe District) program to failure.
The analyst, who designed the Democratic Security Plan (PSD) at president Leonel Fernandez’s request in 2004, made the revelation during his testimony on violence and crime in Dominican Republic and the Caribbean before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on December 15.
He said the program, begun in 2005, has failed in its attempt to curtail crime in the Dominican barrios. He said a significant internal change of the National Police hasn’t been possible, for reasons ranging from corruption to a severe lack of training and material resources.
Quoted by news source hoy.com.do, Gamarra, research and analysis director of the company Newlink Research, said the Police resists change.
The analyst also said those in charge of the PSD have politized the program to reach a better political stature, for which de plan didn’t achieve its goal, adding that the little economic support from international organizations.
Gamarra included the United States embassy as also contributing to the program’s failure, calling its contribution limited in amount and in reach, even to the point of contradicting the local efforts. “Sometimes, officials of the Embassy saw president Fernandez’s initiatives against crime in the country with great skepticism and distrust.”