In a March 14 letter to the editor of Americas Quarterly, international human rights lawyer Víctor Mosquera Marín called on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to apply “the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms” as well as for Blinken to live up to his commitment to “[stand] to governments” that violate human rights like the Dominican Republic.

Abuse of preventive detention in the Dominican Republic is a widely known problem,” Mosquera wrote adding that “80% of all those in prison are being preventively detained” and are facing “inhuman conditions,” within the prison system.

Mosquera noted that  United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) condemned the Dominican Republic after “prosecutors appointed by President Luis Abinader “persecuted” and arbitrarily imprisoned a senior opposition figure, former Attorney General Jean Alain Rodríguez Sánchez.”

Such human rights abuses are “widely practiced” by the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office for the Prosecution of Administrative Corruption, known as PEPCA, Mosquera wrote, “led by prosecutors Yeni Berenice Reynoso and Wilson Camacho.” Their use of preventive detention has “a political dimension”, Mosquera wrote, because PEPCA “wields extensive and discretionary powers in its investigations and prosecution efforts, openly conflicting with international human rights standards.”  

Mosquera called upon the Biden Administration to not use “political considerations” and confront human rights violations in the Dominican justice system.

To read Victor Mosquera Marín’s letter to Americas Quarterly, click here.