Cultura y conciencia

Police Repression in Dominican Republic:

Nelson Santana

Is it time for the bloodthirsty chief of Dominican police to resign?

By José Efraín Estrella

July 19, 2010

The most recent police brutality cases in the Dominican Republic have led to a backlash against Rafael Guillermo Guzmán Fermín, the chief of police. Guzmán Fermín has been accused of the death of hundreds of people since he became chief of police in 2007.

In the meantime, lawyer associations, popular organizations and relatives of victims of police brutality have found common ground to launch a campaign to put an end to the brutal tactics used by the notoriously criminal gangs inside the police.

For too long, Guzmán Fermín has been justifying the use of force to fight crime, a bankrupt stance that has done nothing to lower crime. To this date, innocent people have paid a very high price at the hands of police.

President Leonel Fernandez has also denounced the police’s tactics. But more must be done to ensure that police implicated in crimes and human rights abuses be brought to justice. The first step would be to sack Rafael Guillermo Guzmán Fermín to send a message to those low ranking members of the National Police who have been following his command to shoot at innocent civilians.