Local January 30, 2013 | 11:50 am

After top prosecutor slams giveaways, military chief orders gun count

Santo Domingo.- Justice minister Francisco Domínguez on Tuesday slammed criticized that for more than 20 years law enforcement agencies’ policy of "cronyism" for giving weapons to politicians and businesspersons , to befriend them and get favors in return.

He said even when many of those weapons are used for protection, it’s also the military and police’s method to gain their acceptance.

Dominguez said the weapons handed out range from pistols to machine guns. "As we see in political conflicts, many are weapons of war and of all calibers, and in any type of dispute with officials and former officials."

Speaking in the conference "Citizen Security in the Dominican Republic" hosted by the U.S. Foreign Security Advisory Council, the official stated his concern with weapons are becoming a culture and a symbol of progress.

Disarmament

The Justice Minister affirmed that he favors tighter controls on the possession of firearms, adding that if had his way he would ban their use.

Response

Armed Forces minister Sigfrido Pared on Wednesday announced he ordered the chiefs of Staff of the Army, Navy and Air Force to inventory any additional weapons assigned to military who work in the security of civilians, to determine if they should be returned.