Local September 12, 2014 | 12:32 pm

US pledges more funds for Dominican Republic’s war on drug trafficking

Santo Domingo.- The U.S. Embassy on Friday pledged an additional US$10.0 million to escalate Dominican Republic’s war on drug trafficking and bolster public safety.

The funding, announced during the signing of the agreement by US ambassador James W. Brewster and acting Foreign Affairs minister José Manuel Trullols, bolster Washington’s support for Dominican security and law enforcement agencies statement.

"These new funds will be used by our office to enforce the law on International Narcotics Affairs (INL), in continued collaboration with Dominican Republic’s Government in areas of vital interest, such as to support the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative. Our common goal is to strengthen the institutional capacity of national security agencies and increase citizen national public safety," Brewster said.

Washington’s and Santo Domingo’s joint efforts led to the confiscation of 25% of the estimated 60 metric tons which passed through the country in 2013.

The US Embassy’s INL programs also support the 911 emergency system and its expansion to other regions, and a multi-year project coordinated with Colombia’s National Police to train some 600 Dominican agents.

The funds will also benefit the National Drug Control Agency (DNCD), will non-lethal equipment and a telecommunications platform; training on investigative methods, and evidence-processing for criminal prosecutions.

"The United States is and will continue being a committed partner in the fight against the proliferation of drug trafficking, which is a mutual concern for both countries," Brewster said, and reiterated that the U.S. will continue collaborating with the Dominican Government, and the public safety and antinarcotics agencies.