Pedro Fernández, the El Nacional newspaper’s correspondent in San Francisco de Macorís, capital of the northern department of Duarte, reported last week that he has evidence that a local drug dealer known as “Michel” has hired two contract killers to murder him.
“This threat should be taken seriously,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The Dominican Republic is a major regional drug-trafficking hub. The risk of reprisals is very high for journalists who dare to denounce the activities of organized crime.
“An investigation must be carried out quickly with the aim of identifying this ‘Michel’ and his henchmen. And the authorities must immediately guarantee Fernández’s safety. Cases of this kind result only too often in situations of impunity.”
According to Fernández, who has written a great deal about the wars between drug gangs in his part of the country, his reporting is the reason for this threat to his life. He has criticized the slowness of the police to take action but says he will not be intimidated.
“We are filing a complaint in order to show the criminals that they cannot act as they please in San Francisco de Macorís,” he said.