The Ministry of Foreign Relations says that the increase in drug trafficking in the DR is the result of demand for drugs from the United States. Foreign Relations Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso was reacting to a statement by the US Embassy charge d'affaires Christopher Lambert who recently commented on the participation of drug trafficking in the Dominican economy.
Morales said that if there is an increase in drug trafficking here it is because of the large demand for drugs in the US, as reported in El Dia. Morales said that before criticizing other countries, US diplomats should look and see what is happening in their own nation, where there is a high level of drug consumption. "We have to put a stop to production of drugs, use of transshipment countries but also there is a need to put a stop to consumption," said Morales Troncoso.
He said the US allocates an insufficient amount of funds towards combating drug trafficking and expressed regret that the producer and transshipment countries now have to bear the larger part of the blame for criminal activities related to drug trafficking.
Morales said that drug trafficking was the main issue discussed during President Leonel Fernandez's meeting with President Barrack Obama at the White House.
He said during the meeting, Fernandez offered the DR as a venue for hosting a conference where heads of state could agree on regional measures. "I believe the heads of government need to see each other face to face. Above all to stop consumption there need to be clear measures. Then, we will see production and trafficking disappear," he said, as reported in Listin Diario.
Interior & Police Minister Franklin Almeyda Rancier said: "It is true that there is a serious and apparently insurmountable problem with drugs in the US and some say that if controls were imposed on drugs they would have very serious political problems that would even destabilize governance," as reported in El Dia. He estimated the value of drugs entering the US market at US$400 billion and said that it is their obligation to control this in the same way as with terrorism.
Almeyda said: "Drugs are a business that has an excellent market in the US and that country is responsible for controlling that market," he said.
Morales Troncoso said that the US has budgeted US$40 million to counteract drug trafficking, but he said that amount is insufficient and drug consumption needs to be controlled.
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