Mr. Abinader Comes to Washington

Mr. Abinader Comes to Washington

Dominican President Luis Abinader is scheduled to come to Washington DC in early November to meet with President Biden. By all indications the White House is planning to roll out the red carpet despite a growing chorus of concerns around the Dominican Republic’s criminal justice practices, including a preventive detention crisis and wrongful imprisonment of…

U.S. Congressman: Are Taxpayers Funding Wrongful Detention of Americans in the Dominican Republic?

U.S. Congressman: Are Taxpayers Funding Wrongful Detention of Americans in the Dominican Republic?

In an explosive new letter, Representative Troy Nehls (R-TX) asked the Inspector General (IG) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate whether taxpayer funded programs are supporting the Dominican Republic’s excessive use of preventive detention against American citizens and legal permanent residents. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Nehls wrote that he…

USAID Glosses over the DR’s Humanitarian Crisis

USAID Glosses over the DR’s Humanitarian Crisis

The “disconnect” within the Biden Administration over the humanitarian crisis in the Dominican Republic’s prison system, recently raised as a concern by Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, appears to be worsening. Following the Dominican Republic’s participation at the “Democracy Delivers” event with United States Administration for International Development (USAID)…

Is the State Department Violating the Law on Wrongful Detention?

Is the State Department Violating the Law on Wrongful Detention?

It’s been a busy week for Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Today, he joined USAID Administrator Samantha Power to celebrate “democratic bright spots” like the Dominican Republic and recommit millions of dollars to strengthen their institutions. During the event, Dominican President Luis Abinader stated, “Economic development won’t occur in a country that is still corrupt…

The Debate on Preventive Detention Reaches a Crescendo

The Debate on Preventive Detention Reaches a Crescendo

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul’s letter to Secretary Blinken has set off a firestorm of debate in the Dominican Republic. The public conversation on preventive detention in the Dominican Republic has reached a critical juncture. This week, Dominican Justice Initiative Founder Mario H. Lopez sent a letter to Chairman McCaul thanking him for…

Deprivation of Liberty in the Dominican Republic Enters the Spin Zone

Deprivation of Liberty in the Dominican Republic Enters the Spin Zone

The right to personal liberty is a basic freedom recognized by international organizations like the United Nations and Organization of American States (OAS) and guaranteed by the constitutions of the world’s leading democracies. The OAS’ Principles of Best Practices on the Protection of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas clearly states, “The law shall…

ICYMI: Congressional Intervention in Preventive Detention and the Dominican Republic’s Response

ICYMI: Congressional Intervention in Preventive Detention and the Dominican Republic’s Response

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman (HFAC) Michael McCaul criticized the Biden administration in a letter sent to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken for failing to know the current number of U.S. Citizen and Legal Permanent Residents held under the guise of ‘preventive detention’ in the Dominican Republic. In his letter, Chairman McCaul expressed concern over the “long…

ICYMI: Leader of U.S. Hispanic Group Criticizes Biden Administration Human Rights Record in Dominican Republic

ICYMI: Leader of U.S. Hispanic Group Criticizes Biden Administration Human Rights Record in Dominican Republic

Writing in Real Clear Politics, Mario H. Lopez, president of the Hispanic Leadership Fund, criticized the Biden Administration’s “inconsistent approach” toward human rights and democracy in Latin America, and especially the Dominican Republic. In the Dominican Republic, the Biden Administration has remained silent as the Dominican judicial system keeps thousands of people locked behind bars…

Our Letter to Secretary Blinken: Don’t Turn a Blind Eye to Illegal Detention in the Dominican Republic

Our Letter to Secretary Blinken: Don’t Turn a Blind Eye to Illegal Detention in the Dominican Republic

On the eve of President Luis Abinader’s U.S. visit for the Dominican parade in New York City, the Hispanic Leadership Fund wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken to express “alarm to the humanitarian crisis in the Dominican Republic” where the government is holding “seven out of ten people in prison are being held on…

New Campaign Launches to Fight Illegal Imprisonment in Dominican Republic

New Campaign Launches to Fight Illegal Imprisonment in Dominican Republic

Today, the Dominican Justice Initiative (Iniciativa Dominicana de Justicia/IDJ) launches to bring critical and urgent awareness to a desperate situation in the Dominican Republic (DR). Approximately 70 percent of those in prison in the DR are serving under a preventive detention status, often held for months without any formal charges or indictment. Deprivation of liberty…

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