Local April 4, 2024 | 10:57 am

Dominican government’s foreign advisory contract worth over RD$ 85 million

Santo Domingo.- In December, the Ministry of the Presidency in the Dominican Republic finalized a contract with the American consulting firm Dentons Global Advisors, worth over RD$ 85 million. The agreement, spanning fourteen months, aims to address issues concerning human rights and manage reputational risks associated with the Dominican government.

Joel Adrián Santos Echavarría, interim minister of the Ministry of the Presidency, and José Miguel Vivanco Inostroza, representing Dentons Global Advisors, signed the agreement under the Scientific Work Exception Procedure, with reference number MINPRE-2023-41.

The government of President Luis Abinader has faced scrutiny over its immigration policies with Haiti, alleged extrajudicial executions involving security forces, and the conditions within the country’s prisons. Recently, a fire at La Victoria prison highlighted concerns about overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and inadequate supervision by authorities. Various stakeholders, including the Public Defender’s Office, the Human Rights Observatory, judicial spokespeople, and journalists, have called for solutions and a reassessment of prison policies.

Dentons Global Advisors, affiliated with the world’s largest law firm Dentons, offers comprehensive advice and communication strategies to manage crises, disputes, and complex issues. The firm aims to safeguard clients’ brand reputation and mitigate legal consequences or negative impacts.

José Miguel Vivanco, representing Dentons Global Advisors, has been associated with the advisory company since 2022. He gained international recognition during his tenure as head of Human Rights Watch (HRW) in Washington for three decades.

Vivanco’s involvement in advocating for the rights of “denationalized” descendants of Haitians in the Dominican Republic stirred controversy in 2015. He criticized the country for denying nationality rights to tens of thousands of individuals and highlighted the government’s detention and expulsion practices.

Furthermore, Vivanco has been an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights, condemning ideological battles propagated by certain sectors, particularly those associated with the evangelical church in Latin American countries. He argues that such positions undermine the rights of sexual minorities and women’s reproductive rights, emphasizing the need for policy reforms to effect meaningful change.

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