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Daily News - 09 June 1998

President Fernández declares war on drugs at UN summit
President Leonel Fernández in the name of his government and the Dominican people declared "an 'all out' war, a war that we will win, against the most serious threat ever faced by mankind: the global plague of drugs" during his address at the United Nations General Assembly special session on drugs.
The Drug Summit, held 8-10 June, is the largest multilateral gathering ever held on combating illegal drug trafficking and abuse. It is attended by representatives of 185 countries, including 35 heads of state and government.
In his speech, President Fernández pointed out that while the DR does not produce drugs and consumption is only 2%, its geographic location as center of the Caribbean and on the same island with Haiti make it especially vulnerable to the illicit drug trade. The DR is increasingly being used as an alternate route for South American drugs after US drug combating efforts have been effective at reducing trafficking from Mexico to the US. The South Americans ship the drugs to Haiti and from there these are transported by land to the DR for shipment to Puerto Rico and then onwards to the United States.
"Due to the vulnerability that our border with Haiti presents, the Armed Forces and the National Bureau for Drugs Control have taken steps to raise the levels of vigilance in the zone." "In this regard," he said, "a military and anti-narcotics personnel reinforcement has been ordered in place along the Dominican-Haitian border, as well as a specialized training of the military men that have been assigned to detecting and identifying narcotics on the border line. He explained that new technologies will be used to facilitate the work of Dominican authorities along the border zone.
The President explained that "at the same time, we have sustained coordination contacts with the Haitian authorities, having in mind facing the problem in a joint fashion. In regards to the foregoing, during the next few days, I will meet with the Honorable President of Haiti to analyze, among other topics, this critical problem that affects both our nations."
Moreover, President Fernández said that major efforts are underway to prevent the increase of drug consumption. He said that Dominicans could fall prey to drug trafficking marketing efforts due to the expansion of the economy, the increase of the buying power of certain segments of the population and external cultural influences. He also said that the drug traffickers will need new markets to make up for loss of market share in the US due to the intensifying of the drug prevention campaigns there. President Clinton has announced a US$2 billion campaign. On the positive side, there could be a trickle down effect of the US prevention campaign in the DR, such as occurred with smoking cigarettes.
President Fernández stated on another hand that throughout the ten years of its existence, the National Bureau for Drugs Control has seized the amount of 19,713.6 kilos of cocaine.
He said that last year, 1997, a total of 1,224.9 kilos were confiscated, and from January to May of the current year, an additional 1,221.5 kilos, which is equivalent to almost the totality seized the year before.
He highlighted that the strengthening of the judiciary, with the appointment of new judges, will make it more likely that drug traffickers are processed and penalized.
He warranted that "we have extradited -and sustain our will to continue to extradite- those renowned criminals."
He also stated that his government has been collaborating "actively with the authorities of other countries and with international organisms in different aspects of this fight, particularly by sharing information and by way of joint training operations."
Other speakers at the conference
In the opening address at the UN conference, President Bill Clinton of the United States called for nations to stop bickering over whether blame for international drug trafficking lies with countries that demand drugs or those that supply them.
"Pointing fingers is distracting," Clinton said. "It does not dismantle a single cartel, help a single addict, prevent a single child from trying - and perhaps dying - from heroin. Besides, the lines between countries that are supply countries, demand countries and transit countries are increasingly blurred. Drugs are every nation's problem."
"No nation is so large and powerful that it can conquer drugs alone. None is too small to make a difference. All share a responsibility to take up the battle," Clinton said. "Therefore, we will stand as one against this threat to our security and our future."
Clinton announced the US will be launching a $2 billion, five-year media campaign against drugs in the United States, targeting young people with a message that "drugs destroy young lives, don't let it destroy yours."
Similar campaigns will be launched in Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil funded by the government, businesses and philanthropic organizations.
Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo later criticized the United States for its anti-drug tactics, and called for a balanced strategy "so that no one can become the judge of others and no one feels entitled to violate other countries' laws for the sake of enforcing its own."
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called the drug scourge "a tragic reality" and appealed to member nations to work seriously on finding common ground on fighting drugs.
"It is my hope that when historians study the work of humankind in drug control they will write about the next few days as the point at which this trend was reversed," Annan said. "We must never give in to the human toll illegal drugs are taking on our societies."
Voicing a sentiment shared by other nations, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said an international anti-drug effort must also focus on real rehabilitation for addicts, rather than "the repressive approach based on imprisonment."
At the conference, discussions revolved around finding solutions to the problems posed by amphetamines and stimulants; and to identify specific timetables to strengthen and harmonize member states' laws on money laundering, extradition of drug traffickers,
and the sharing of information on drug cartels.
World statesmen speaking at the event were:
His Excellency Mr. William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America.
His Excellency Mr. Ernesto Zedillo, President of the United Mexican States.
His Excellency Mr. Jorge Fernando Branco de Sampaio, President of the Portuguese Republic.
His Excellency The Honorable Romano Prodi, Prime Minister of the Italian Republic.
His Excellency Mr. Hugo Banzer Suárez, Constitutional President of the Republic of Bolivia.
His Excellency Mr. Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic.
His Excellency Mr. Miguel Angel Rodríguez, Constitutional President of the Republic of Costa Rica.
His Excellency Mr. Carlos Saúl Menem, President of the Argentine Republic.
His Excellency Mr. Leonel Fernández Reyna, President of the Dominican Republic.
His Excellency Mr. Jules Albert Wijdenbosch, President of the Republic of Suriname.
His Excellency Mr. Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil.
His Excellency The Honorable Dr. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister and Minister for National Security, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Planning and Information of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
His Excellency Mr. José María Aznar, President of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain.
His Excellency Mr. Luo Gan, State Counsellor of China.
His Excellency Mr. John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
On the Drug Summit in general
The Drug Summit marks a critical new juncture in the global fight against drug supply and demand. The summit was organized by the United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP), a Vienna-based agency that operates mostly through voluntary contributions. The program serves as a catalyst and coordinator for international efforts against illicit drug supply and demand. Headed by Under-Secretary-General Pino Arlacchi, UNDCP has been described as "a multilateral program that works".
For the first time, national leaders from throughout the world came together to agree to: the first truly global strategy to control drugs; the first international agreement on demand reduction; and the goal of substantially reducing and eventually eradicating the illicit cultivation of opium, coca and other narcotic crops in the next 10 years.
According to Mr. Arlacchi, who also serves as Executive Director of the United Nations International Drug Control Program and the United Nations Office of Drug Control and Crime Prevention, "narcotics and organized crime are the major threats to the world in the next century. With the involvement of so many world leaders, we now have an opportunity for the first time to meet a global threat with a global response".
Leaders at the United Nations point to several reasons why the Drug Summit represents an unprecedented historic opportunity, including: the erosion of East-West and North-South barriers to cooperation, the blurring of previous policy differences between "producing" and "consuming" nations; and a strong commitment on the part of United Nations members to attack the illicit drug trade in a balanced way, striving to reduce supply and demand simultaneously. They also cite advances in enforcement technology, including satellite monitoring, and the willingness of member states to share the knowledge they have gained from successful domestic campaigns against drug traffickers.
"This is a fight that can be won, given the political will illustrated by the international community's participation in this Drug Summit", said Mr. Arlacchi, who previously served as a leading strategist in the Italian Government's successful campaign against organized crime. "Global coca leaf and opium poppy acreage totals an area less than half the size of Puerto Rico. There is no reason it cannot be eliminated in little more than a decade. The Drug Summit sets benchmarks for nations, and the international community will hold each State accountable for its commitments."

Fernández on his government's achievements
Speaking in a press conference in New York City, where he attended the UN Assembly, President Leonel Fernández said that the construction works along the 27 de Febrero Avenue that connects the city East and West will be completed by December. This includes the construction of the tunnels at the crossings of Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Máximo Gómez.
President Fernández highlighter other achievements of his government in addition to the improvements to the transport and traffic problems of the city of Santo Domingo. In the first 22 months of government, he mentioned the new Supreme Court, the growth rate of the DR economy, which is the highest in the region according to the Economic Commission of Latin America (ECLAC), present macreconomic stability, and end of administrative corruption in government. He also highlighted the climate of peace, stability and development that makes the nation an attractive option for investment.

Setting a limit on the working age of judges
The Listín Diario reports that there is a conflict brewing between Congress and the Supreme Court. Several senators are promoting a motion that would limit the age of Supreme Court judges to 75 years. Three Supreme Court judges are more than 75 years old. The judges of the Supreme Court are recent appointees after it was determined that the aging Supreme Court was unable to handle the work load. The motion of the Congress would try to impede a repeat of the past situation.
This was pointed out by the president of the Comisión de Justicia del Senado, Dr. Julio Ulises de Beras de la Cruz. He said that the immovability of judges is not absolute. He would like to see a scale of ages for judges. Judges of peace would have to retire at 60, First Instance judges at 65, Appeal Court judges at 70, and Supreme Court judges at 75.

Exchange rate update
Commercial banks were buying dollars up to RD$14.35 to RD$15.15 at exchange houses. The same institutions were selling dollars from RD$15.25 to RD$15.43.

The winners of the city elections
The PRD won 94 municipalities, including the National District of the 114 total. in the May 16, 1998 elections. Bulletin of the Junta Central Electoral confirmed that the PLD won 13 city halls and the PRSC won only 7. In Puerto Plata, Santiago, San Cristóbal and Monte Cristi the PRD won all the city governments.

Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD) city governments:
 Municipality  City/Town Mayor-Elect
 Distrito Nacional  Juan de Dios Ventura Soriano
 Peralta  Antonio Rafael Pérez
 Azua  Marcial Gonzalez Agramonte
 Padre Las Casas  Ramón Arcángel Santana Ramírez
 Villa Jaragua  Mártir Emilio Ferreras Ferreras
 Galván  Jacqueline Núñez Arismendy
 Neiba  Waded Melgen Hezny de Taveras
 Cabral  Ramón Virgilio Féliz Báez
 Enriquillo  René Castillo Gómez
 Paraiso  Alonso Grillo Placeres
 Barahona  Luís Virgilio Reyes
 Dajabón  Aníbal Germán Cruz Fernández
 Loma de Cabrera  José María Gutiérrez Valerio
 Pimentel  María Cándida Sánchez Mora
 Arenoso  Rafael Núñez Mercedes
 Castillo  Hugo Antonio de la Cruz Rodríguez
 San Francisco de Macorís  Siquio Augusto Ng de la Rosa
 Villa Riva  Roberto Ureña Estévez
 Miches  José Ramón Vargas Castillo
 Bánica  Narciso Cedano Ramírez
 Comendador  Pedro Antonio Castillo Ogando
 Pedro Santana  Paulino Rosario Guerrero
 Moca  Ruben Lulo Gitte
 Cayetano Germosén  Julio César Abreu Cáceres
 Gaspar Hernández  Israel David Ovalles Martínez
 Hato Mayor  Ysidro Jesús Ramírez Jiménez
 Sabana de la Mar  Jesús Orlando Puig Polanco
 Postrer Río  Antonio Medina Florián
 Duvergé  Rafael Leonidas Bello Cuevas
 La Descubierta  Rafael Méndez Perdomo
 Guaymate  Juan Ernesto Florentino Martínez
 Constanza  José Elías Quezada Ortiz
 La Vega  Fausto Ramón Ruiz Valdez
 Jima Abajo  Francisco Emilio Lantigua Cruz
  El Factor  Rubén Darío Hiciano Hiciano
 Jarabacoa  Francisco Antonio Pichardo Díaz
 Nagua  Angito Espinal Cortorreal
 Río San Juan  Francisco Duarte Ventura
 Cabrera  Antonio Mamerto Guzmán Marte
 Monseñor Nouel  Apolinar de la Rosa
 Maimón  Ramón Eugenio Peralta Reyes
 Piedra Blanca  Fermín Martínez Reyes
 Villa Vásquez  Virgilio de Jesús Rivas Núñez
 Montecristi  Luis Tomás Méndez Capellán
 Pepillo Salcedo  Rafael Antonio Guzmán Torres
 Guayubín  Eligio de Jesús Pérez Jorge
 Las Matas de Santa Cruz  Ramón Ramírez Rodríguez
 Castañuelas  Ramón Antonio Pimentel Gómez
 Monte Plata  Antolín Valdez Núñez
 Bayaguana  Juan Isidro Santana Alburquerque
 Yamasá  Santiago Manzueta de León
 Sabana Grande de Boyá  Bienvenido Javier Andújar
 Pedernales  Jacobo Féliz Terrero
 Oviedo  Manuel Alberto Sánchez Carrasco
 San José de Ocoa  Manuel Julio Pimentel Mejía
 Nizao  Demetrio Antonio Ramírez
 Baní  Enrique de Jesús Bello Franjul
 Guananico  Pedro Hiraldo Ulloa
 Villa Isabela  Ramón Noesí Batista
 Los Hidalgos  Pedro Alejandro Aguirre Hernández
 Luperón  Adalberto José Brito Gómez
 Altamira  Julián Bonilla Medina
 Imbert  Modesto Medina Francisco
 Puerto Plata  Ramón Ludovino Ortiz Lizardo
 Sosua  Edmundo Brown Calderón
 Sánchez  Inocencio de Jesús y Calcaño
 Samaná  Francisco Virgilio Mercado de Peña
 Las Terrenas  Luis Emilio Vanderhorst Anderson
 Yaguate  Isaías Valdez Alvarez
 San Cristóbal  Nestor Julio Santana Alvarez
 Villa Altagracia  Víctor Rafael Flores
 Sabana Grande de Palenque  Pedro Julio Báez Paulino
 Bajos de Haina  Juana Quiñones García
 Cambita Garabitos  Luis Alberto Soto Soriano
 El Cercado  William Mateo y Nina
 San Juan de la Maguana  Fernando Enrique Oviedo Tejeda
 Vallejuelo  Andresito Cipión Encarnación
 Las Matas de Farfán  San Tomás Pérez Quevedo
 Cotuí  Bienvenido Antonio Lazala Fabián
 Fantino  Luis Galán Durán
 Cevicos  José Diógenes Contreras Cabreja
 San José de las Matas  Juan Alberto Estévez Reyes
 Jánico  Sergio Augusto Collado Collado
 Licey al Medio  Fernando Rosario Grullón
 Villa Bisonó  Julio César Barranco Ventura
 Santiago de los Caballeros  Hector Rafael Grullón Moronta
 Villa González  Víctor José de Aza Tineo
 Tamboril  Juan José Domínguez Domínguez
 Monción  Donaciano Sime Durán
 Villa Los Almácigos  José Espinal Peña
 San Ignacio de Sabaneta  Rafael Bourdierd Domínguez
 Mao  Norman Augusto Ferreria Azcona
 Esperanza  Ramón Arturo Goris
 Laguna Salada  Luis Manuel Díaz Carera

Partido de Liberación Dominicana (PLD) city governments:
 City/Town  City/Town Government
 Vicente Noble  Luis Ferreras Gomez
 Restauración  Tirso Antonio Contreras
 Partido  Guarionex Jiménez Castro
 El Seibo  Gerald Casanova Jiménez
 El Llano  Darío Fortuna Sánchez
 Hondo Valle  Felino Merán Montero
 Jimaní  Malcolm Santana Pérez
 La Romana  Tomás Beltré
 Salcedo  Ramón Corniel Figueroa
 Villa Tapia  Juan García Pantaleón
 Tenares  Andrés Concepción Rosario
 Juan de Herrera  Juan Cordero Méndez
 Bohechío  Leonardo Suzaña Abreu

PRSC city governments
 City/Town  City/Town Government
 San Rafael del Yuma  Pablo Rondón Perozo
 Higuey  Ismael Peña Rodríguez
 El Valle  Persis Peguero Sosa
 Los Llanos  Luis Rafael Rodríguez Sosa
 Consuelo  Miguel Antonio Méndez
 San Pedro de Macorís  Sergio Cedeño de Jesús

Ramón Santana
 Benigno Núñez Reyna

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