Caribbean leaders confer on trafficking
Heads of state from several Caribbean Basin nations are meeting in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic today to discuss how they can work together to combat international drug smuggling operations in the region.
The presidents of the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Haiti will be joined by the prime ministers from Trinidad & Tobago and St. Vincent & the Grenadines at the one-day drug summit. The meeting has been characterized by Caribbean officials as the most important response to date to combat the growing volumes of drugs being shipped through the islands.
Law enforcement officials say the greatest change has been the increased movement of drugs through the island of Hispaniola, which includes both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. There has been an increase in the number of drug shipments discovered at ports in the Dominican Republic, and suspected drug flights monitored by the United States are up sharply in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The flights typically originate in Colombia, and more recently, Venezuela, U.S. officials say.
The closed meeting is being held at the Foreign Ministry building in the Dominican Republic.