World Factbook

Dominican Republic

Introduction

Central America and Caribbean :: Dominican Republic

Background:
The Taino - indigenous inhabitants of Hispaniola prior to the arrival of the Europeans - divided the island into five chiefdoms and territories. Christopher COLUMBUS explored and claimed the island on his first voyage in 1492; it became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821 but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the Spanish Empire, but two years later they launched a war that restored independence in 1865. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule followed, capped by the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas TRUJILLO from 1930 to 1961. Juan BOSCH was elected president in 1962 but was deposed in a military coup in 1963. In 1965, the United States led an intervention in the midst of a civil war sparked by an uprising to restore BOSCH. In 1966, Joaquin BALAGUER defeated BOSCH in an election to become president. BALAGUER maintained a tight grip on power for most of the next 30 years when international reaction to flawed elections forced him to curtail his term in 1996. Since then, regular competitive elections have been held in which opposition candidates have won the presidency. Former President Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna (first term 1996-2000) won election to a new term in 2004 following a constitutional amendment allowing presidents to serve more than one term, and was since reelected to a second consecutive term.

Geography

Location:
Caribbean, eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti

Geographic coordinates:
19 00 N, 70 40 W

Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean

Area:
Total: 48,670 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 132
Land: 48,320 sq km
Water: 350 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly more than twice the size of New Hampshire

Land boundaries:
Total: 360 km
Border countries: Haiti 360 km

Coastline:
1,288 km

Maritime claims:
measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate:
tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall

Terrain:
rugged highlands and mountains with fertile valleys interspersed

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Lago Enriquillo -46 m
Highest point: Pico Duarte 3,175 m

Natural resources:
nickel, bauxite, gold, silver

Land use:
Arable land: 16.44%
Permanent crops: 9.25%
Other: 74.32% (2011)

Irrigated land:
3,065 sq km (2009)

Total renewable water resources:
21 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 5.47 cu km/yr (26%/1%/72%)
Per capita: 574.2 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards:
lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and subject to severe storms from June to October; occasional flooding; periodic droughts

Environment - current issues:
water shortages; soil eroding into the sea damages coral reefs; deforestation

Environment - international agreements:
Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
Signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note:
shares island of Hispaniola with Haiti

People and Society

Nationality:
Noun: Dominican(s)
Adjective: Dominican

Ethnic groups:
mixed 73%, white 16%, black 11%

Languages:
Spanish (official)

Religions:
Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%

Population:
10,219,630 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 85

Age structure:
0-14 years: 28.5% (male 1,480,700/female 1,429,848)
15-24 years: 18.5% (male 966,822/female 928,758)
25-54 years: 39.1% (male 2,043,498/female 1,951,187)
55-64 years: 7% (male 360,897/female 356,169)
65 years and over: 6.9% (male 323,995/female 377,756) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 57.5 %
Youth dependency ratio: 47.6 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 9.9 %
Potential support ratio: 10.1 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 26.8 years
Male: 26.6 years
Female: 26.9 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
1.28% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 92

Birth rate:
19.21 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 93

Death rate:
4.46 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 201

Net migration rate:
-1.96 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 162

Urbanization:
Urban population: 69% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 2.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
SANTO DOMINGO (capital) 2.191 million (2011)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:
20.3 (2007 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
150 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 63

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 20.44 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 92
Male: 22.39 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 18.41 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 77.62 years
Country comparison to the world: 62
Male: 75.44 years
Female: 79.88 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.39 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 88

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
72.9% (2007)

Health expenditures:
6.2% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 104

Hospital bed density:
1.6 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 87% of population
rural: 84% of population
total: 86% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 13% of population
rural: 16% of population
total: 14% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 87% of population
rural: 75% of population
total: 83% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 13% of population
rural: 25% of population
total: 17% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.9% (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 53

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
57,000 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 57

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
2,300 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 53

Major infectious diseases:
Degree of risk: high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne disease: dengue fever (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
21.2% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 90

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
3.4% (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 104

Education expenditures:
2.2% of GDP (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 162

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 90.1%
Male: 90%
Female: 90.2% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 12 years
Male: 12 years
Female: 13 years (2004)

Child labor - children ages 5-14:
Total number: 180,423
Percentage: 10 % (2000 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Total: 30.3%
Country comparison to the world: 22
Male: 21.2%
Female: 44.5% (2007)

Government

Country name:
Conventional long form: Dominican Republic
Conventional short form: The Dominican
Local long form: Republica Dominicana
Local short form: La Dominicana

Government type:
democratic republic

Capital:
Name: Santo Domingo
Geographic coordinates: 18 28 N, 69 54 W
Time difference: UTC-4 (1 hour ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:
31 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 district* (distrito); Azua, Bahoruco, Barahona, Dajabon, Distrito Nacional*, Duarte, El Seibo, Elias Pina, Espaillat, Hato Mayor, Independencia, La Altagracia, La Romana, La Vega, Maria Trinidad Sanchez, Monsenor Nouel, Monte Cristi, Monte Plata, Pedernales, Peravia, Puerto Plata, Salcedo, Samana, San Cristobal, San Jose de Ocoa, San Juan, San Pedro de Macoris, Sanchez Ramirez, Santiago, Santiago Rodriguez, Santo Domingo, Valverde

Independence:
27 February 1844 (from Haiti)

National holiday:
Independence Day, 27 February (1844)

Constitution:
28 November 1966; amended 25 July 2002 and January 2010

Legal system:
civil law system based on the French civil code; Criminal Procedures Code modified in 2004 to include important elements of an accusatory system

International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age, universal and compulsory; married persons regardless of age can vote; note - members of the armed forces and national police cannot vote by law

Executive branch:
Chief of state: President Danilo MEDINA Sanchez (since 16 August 2012); Vice President Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ (since 16 August 2012); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Danilo MEDINA Sanchez (since 16 August 2012); Vice President Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ (since 16 August 2012)
Cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the president
Elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held on 20 May 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
Election results: Danilo MEDINA Sanchez elected president; percent of vote - Danilo MEDINA Sanchez 51.2%, Hipolito MEJIA 47%, other 1.8%; Margarita CEDENO DE FERNANDEZ elected vice president

Legislative branch:
bicameral National Congress or Congreso Nacional consists of the Senate or Senado (32 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Camara de Diputados (183 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Elections: Senate - last held on 16 May 2010 (next to be held in May 2016); House of Representatives - last held on 16 May 2010 (next to be held in May 2016); in order to synchronize presidential, legislative, and local elections for 2016, those members elected in 2010 will actually serve six-year terms
Election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 31, PRSC 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PLD 105, PRD 75, PRSC 3

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Suprema Corte de Justicia (consists of a minimum of 16 magistrates); Constitutional Court or Tribunal Constitucional (consists of 13 judges)
note - the Constitutional Court was established in 2010 by constitutional amendment
Judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court and Constitutional Court judges appointed by the National Council of the Judiciary comprised of the president, the leaders of both chambers of congress, the president of the Supreme Court, and a non-governing party congressional representative; Supreme Court judges appointed for 7- year terms; Constitutional Court judges appointed for 9-year terms
Subordinate courts: courts of appeal; courts of first instance; justices of the peace; special courts for juvenile, labor, and land cases; Contentious Administrative Court for cases filed against the government

Political parties and leaders:
Dominican Liberation Party or PLD [Leonel FERNANDEZ Reyna]
Dominican Revolutionary Party or PRD [Miguel VARGAS Maldonado]
National Progressive Front [Vinicio CASTILLO, Pelegrin CASTILLO]
Social Christian Reformist Party or PRSC [Carlos MORALES Troncoso]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Citizen Participation Group (Participacion Ciudadania)
Collective of Popular Organizations or COP
Foundation for Institution-Building and Justice or FINJUS

International organization participation:
ACP, AOSIS, BCIE, Caricom (observer), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OIF (observer), OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, Petrocaribe, SICA (associated member), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Anibal de Jesus de CASTRO Rodriguez
Chancery: 1715 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: [1] (202) 332-6280
FAX: [1] (202) 265-8057
Consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Glendale (CA), Mayaguez (Puerto Rico), Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Juan (Puerto Rico)

Diplomatic representation from the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Raul H. YZAGUIRRE
Embassy: corner of Calle Cesar Nicolas Penson and Calle Leopoldo Navarro, Santo Domingo
Mailing address: Unit 5500, APO AA 34041-5500
Telephone: [1] (809) 221-2171
FAX: [1] (809) 686-7437

National symbol(s):
palmchat (bird)

National anthem:
Name: "Himno Nacional" (National Anthem)

Lyrics/music: Emilio PRUD"HOMME/Jose REYES
note: adopted 1934; also known as "Quisqueyanos valientes" (Valient Sons of Quisqueye); the anthem never refers to the people as Dominican but rather calls them "Quisqueyanos," a reference to the indigenous name of the island

Economy

Economy - overview:
The Dominican Republic has long been viewed primarily as an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, but in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer, due to growth in telecommunications, tourism, and free trade zones. The economy is highly dependent upon the US, the destination for more than half of exports. Remittances from the US amount to about one-tenth of GDP, equivalent to almost half of exports and three-quarters of tourism receipts. The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GDP, while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of GDP. High unemployment and underemployment remains an important long-term challenge. The Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) came into force in March 2007, boosting investment and exports and reducing losses to the Asian garment industry. The growth of the Dominican Republic's economy rebounded from the global recession in 2010-12 and remains one of the fastest growing in the region although its fiscal situation is weak; the fiscal deficit climbed from 2.6% in 2011 to approximately 8% in 2012. A tax reform package passed in November 2012 aims to narrow this deficit.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$100.4 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 74
$96.61 billion (2011 est.)
$92.47 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$59 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
3.9% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 82
4.5% (2011 est.)
7.8% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$9,800 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 121
$9,600 (2011 est.)
$9,400 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 84.7%
Government consumption: 7.9%
Investment in fixed capital: 16.4%
Investment in inventories: 0.1%
Exports of goods and services: 25.3%
Imports of goods and services: -34.3%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 5.8%
Industry: 29.4%
Services: 64.7% (2012 est.)

Agriculture - products:
sugarcane, coffee, cotton, cocoa, tobacco, rice, beans, potatoes, corn, bananas; cattle, pigs, dairy products, beef, eggs

Industries:
tourism, sugar processing, ferronickel and gold mining, textiles, cement, tobacco

Industrial production growth rate:
1.4% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 112

Labor force:
4.806 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 80

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 14.6%
Industry: 22.3%
Services: 63.1% (2005)

Unemployment rate:
14.7% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 142
14.6% (2011 est.)

Population below poverty line:
34.4% (2010 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 1.8%
Highest 10%: 36.4% (2010 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
47.2 (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 30
52 (2000 est.)

Budget:
Revenues: $8.224 billion
Expenditures: $12.07 billion (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
13.9% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 197

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-6.5% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 185

Public debt:
42% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 83
38.5% of GDP (2011 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.7% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 111
8.5% (2011 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
15.48% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 37
15.55% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$4.738 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 100
$4.489 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$17.85 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 88
$16.38 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$23.71 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 75
$21.55 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Current account balance:
-$4.254 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 160
-$4.521 billion (2011 est.)

Exports:
$9.079 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 97
$8.612 billion (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:
ferronickel, sugar, gold, silver, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, meats, consumer goods

Exports - partners:
US 46.1%, Haiti 17.4%, China 4.2% (2012)

Imports:
$17.76 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 80
$17.44 billion (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, petroleum, cotton and fabrics, chemicals and pharmaceuticals

Imports - partners:
US 42.5%, Venezuela 7.4%, China 6.2%, Mexico 5.2%, Colombia 4.2% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$3.579 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 103
$4.117 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:
$16.33 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 86
$15.39 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$24.89 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 62
$21.28 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$59 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 87
$59 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates:
Dominican pesos (DOP) per US dollar -
39.336 (2012 est.)
38.232 (2011 est.)
37.307 (2010 est.)
36.03 (2009)
34.775 (2008)

Energy

Electricity - production:
12.3 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 89

Electricity - consumption:
9.881 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 90

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 188

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 180

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
2.973 million kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 88

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
83% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 90

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 78

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
16.6% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 101

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0.3% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 79

Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 127

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 103

Crude oil - imports:
26,150 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 66

Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 125

Refined petroleum products - production:
33,800 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 90

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
122,300 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 72

Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 172

Refined petroleum products - imports:
88,480 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 51

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 122

Natural gas - consumption:
820 million cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 91

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 89

Natural gas - imports:
820 million cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 61

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 130

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
19.6 million Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 83

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
1.044 million (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 76

Telephones - mobile cellular:
8.77 million (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 83

Telephone system:
General assessment: relatively efficient system based on island-wide microwave radio relay network
Domestic: fixed-line teledensity is about 10 per 100 persons; multiple providers of mobile-cellular service with a subscribership of nearly 90 per 100 persons
International: country code - 1-809; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1), Antillas 1, and the Fibralink submarine cables that provide links to South and Central America, parts of the Caribbean, and US; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media:
combination of state-owned and privately owned broadcast media; 1 state-owned TV network and a number of private TV networks; networks operate repeaters to extend signals throughout country; combination of state-owned and privately owned radio stations with more than 300 radio stations operating (2007)

Internet country code:
.do

Internet hosts:
404,500 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 55

Internet users:
2.701 million (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 68

Transportation

Airports:
36 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 109

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 16
Over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 4
Under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 20
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
Under 914 m:
18 (2013)

Heliports:
1 (2013)

Pipelines:
gas 27 km; oil 103 km (2013)

Railways:
Total: 142 km
Country comparison to the world: 125
Standard gauge: 142 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:
Total: 19,705 km
Country comparison to the world: 108
Paved: 9,872 km
Unpaved: 9,833 km (2002)

Ports and terminals:
Major seaport(s): Puerto Haina, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo
Oil/gas terminal(s): Andres LNG terminal (Boca Chica), Punta Nizao oil terminal

Military

Military branches:
Army (Ejercito Nacional, EN), Navy (Marina de Guerra, MdG; includes naval infantry), Dominican Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Dominicana, FAD) (2013)

Military service age and obligation:
17-21 years of age for voluntary military service; recruits must have completed primary school and be Dominican Republic citizens; women may volunteer (2012)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 2,580,083
Females age 16-49: 2,464,698 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 2,188,358
Females age 16-49: 2,090,180 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 100,047
Female: 96,302 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
0.7% of GDP (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 152

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
Haitian migrants cross the porous border into the Dominican Republic to find work; illegal migrants from the Dominican Republic cross the Mona Passage each year to Puerto Rico to find better work

Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for South American drugs destined for the US and Europe; has become a transshipment point for ecstasy from the Netherlands and Belgium destined for US and Canada; substantial money laundering activity in particular by Colombian narcotics traffickers; significant amphetamine consumption (2008)

Flag of Dominican Republic



Flag description:
a centered white cross that extends to the edges divides the flag into four rectangles - the top ones are blue (hoist side) and red, and the bottom ones are red (hoist side) and blue; a small coat of arms featuring a shield supported by a laurel branch (left) and a palm branch (right) is at the center of the cross; above the shield a blue ribbon displays the motto, DIOS, PATRIA, LIBERTAD (God, Fatherland, Liberty), and below the shield, REPUBLICA DOMINICANA appears on a red ribbon; in the shield a bible is opened to a verse that reads "Y la verdad nos hara libre" (And the truth shall set you free); blue stands for liberty, white for salvation, and red for the blood of heroes