Corruption Crisis: How Criminal Politicians Poisoned the Dominican Republic

Corruption Crisis: How Criminal Politicians Poisoned the Dominican RepublicThe recent deaths of American tourists and shooting of former Boston Red Sox superstar David Ortiz have shed a light on the Dominican Republic’s lack of security, its poor public-health regulations, its failed criminal justice system, and its high levels of corruption and impunity.Over the past fifteen years, the Dominican Republic has become the ideal place for domestic and transnational criminals to operate with impunity. The criminal activities that transpire in the Dominican Republic range from armed robberies and improvised laboratories that specialize in counterfeiting booze and medications to drug trafficking, political corruption, contract killings, illegal arms trade and human trafficking. Every ten minutes a robbery takes place in the Dominican Republic.The Dominican criminal justice system’s credibility has declined steadily since the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (Partido de la Liberación Dominicana, PLD) rose to power in 2004. As a result, crime has skyrocketed to levels the likes of which the country has never seen before. In addition, the institutions and law enforcement agencies tasked with protecting the public health and providing security of human drugs, biological products, medications, consumer goods and food supply are virtually operating unchecked.Few countries have as corrupt a criminal justice system as the Dominican Republic. The scarce but well-intended efforts that law-enforcement officials have made to arrest criminals and raid clandestine laboratories and drug spots are often hampered by the Dominican Republic's weak criminal justice system, which, in many cases, fails to prosecute and imprison perpetrators due to their influence within or association to the PLD.Due to intractable criminal activity and continuous health and security breaches, adulterated pesticides and counterfeit alcoholic beverages have potentially killed tourists like Robert Wallace, David Harrison, Miranda Schaup, Yvette Monique, Edward Holmes and Cynthia Day. Both substances are regularly present at Dominican Republic’s luxury hotels. A failed criminal justice system.

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