Drugs are increasingly available

28/07/2008, 12:00 AM

SANTO DOMINGO.-As tempting as fresh bread, the illegal drug supply has increased in an extraordinary fashion over the past seven years, according to a recent report by the National Strategy on Drugs 2008-2012.

According to the study, between 2000 and 2007, the National Drug Control Department seized 841,692 Ecstasy pills, 18,994 kilograms of cocaine, 11,210 kilograms of marijuana, 730 kilograms of heroin and 72 kilograms of crack cocaine.

The seizures only show a reduction in the supply of marijuana, which, at the beginning of the decade, reached 3,815 kilograms seized, and last year only 720 kg were seized.

According to the diagnosis worked out by the National Strategy on Drugs for 2008-20012, the reduction of marijuana is due to the fact that major drug traffickers are paying their helpers in specie (cocaine), and this has created a shift from marijuana, and creating an increase in the availability of cocaine.

The study indicates that "due to the development of ‘micro-traffic' networks tied to the in-kind payment from criminal organizations, the availability of illegal drugs has increases in most major urban centers." The report emphasizes that it is precisely this reduction into small, tiny units that has created the so-called micro-traffic in illegal drugs all over the country.

Among the causes cited in the document as factors in the increase of drug availability are the arrival of 10,036 deportees from the United States, who, after serving their sentences for drug trafficking in the United States are returned to t he Dominican Republic.

Another cause is a lack of opportunities among the most vulnerable sectors. Moreover, the study cites "the prime geographic position of the Dominican Republic for use as a bridge for drug traffickers, the fragile (law enforcement) institutions and the weak judicial system"


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