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LatinNews Daily Report - 26 June 2013

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In Brief - Dominican Republic

SECURITY | Top police commanders replaced. On 25 June President Danilo Medina issued a decree (181-13) appointing General Manuel Castro Castillo as the new commander of the national police force, replacing Mayor General José Armando Polanco Gómez. In addition air force Colonel Julio César Souffront Velásquez was promoted to the rank of general and appointed as the new head of the national police anti-drugs directorate (DNCD), replacing Mayor General Rolando Rosado Mateo. The unexpected changes come as the Medina government prepares to submit to congress a long-awaited proposal to reform the national police, which for years has been criticised as overly authoritarian and allegedly corrupt. In recent years, various DNCD agents have been arrested on suspicion of links to drug trafficking rings, putting the commanders under intense scrutiny. The latest decree provided little explanation as to the reason for the changes but it did stress that both Rosado Mateo and Polanco Gómez, who will now become Medina’s new security adviser, were “honourably discharged from their duties”.