Local March 8, 2012 | 7:41 am

US “endemic corruption” label sure to draw Dominican rebuke

Santo Domingo. – Yesterday’s accusation by the United States that Dominican society’s “endemic corruption” hobbles the war on drug trafficking is sure to draw the rebuke of various prominent sectors who call Washington’s policy hypocritical.

The US said however that it’s not the Dominican Government’s policy to encourage or facilitate drug trafficking and acknowledged advances in 2011 and even stressed fewer suspicious flights and more confiscations.

“As policy, the Dominican Government neither encourages or facilitates the production, processing or distribution of narcotics, psychotropics and other controlled substances, nor tolerates the activities related to money laundering, nevertheless, corruption continues being endemic in all levels of Dominican society,” says the annual strategy report against drugs, sent by the State Department to the US Congress.

Washington affirms that the cooperation between the US and Dominican governments to control drug trafficking, international crime and the search for fugitives continues strong. “The United States receives an excellent cooperation from the National Drugs Control Agency and other Dominican authorities.”

It recognizes that the authorities have heightened the vigilance on sea routes lanes, maintaining his capacity to prevent the use with Dominican airspace for the traffic of drugs.

Double standard

But critics including Ethics Commission president and the Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez have criticized Washington’s “double standard” against the country, when despite its searing reports against Santo Domingo, keep silence on the outcome of major narcotics and money laundering cases such as the one of ex Dominican Army captain Qiurino Paulino, whose entire family of around 12 people was taken to the US under its witness protection program.

They have also questioned Washington’s refusal to provide more technology, especially air surveillance radar, despite the fact that most of the drugs that enter Dominican Republic is destined to US shores.

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