Puerto Rican Drug Lord Captured in Dominican Republic

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Dominican authorities have announced the arrest of Miguel Rivera Diaz, alias “Bolo,” one of Puerto Rico’s most wanted drug traffickers.

According to officials, Rivera had been hiding out in the Dominican Republic for the past decade while he ran a drug trafficking network which smuggled large quantities of cocaine into Puerto Rico.

In an official statement, Dominican National Police claimed to have tracked him down to a neighborhood in west Santo Domingo, and arrested him when left his hideout for a haircut. In recent months, they claim he has trafficked at least 2,500 kilos of cocaine into Puerto Rico, and generated around $40 million in profits from his illicit activities.

Shortly after his capture, Rivera was handed over to police in Puerto Rico, where he is listed among the territory’s most wanted fugitives. His arrest comes just one month after the arrest of another high-profile suspect, Carlos Morales Davila, who was also described as one of Puerto Rico’s “most dangerous” drug traffickers.

The arrests come amid a heightened security crackdown on the island, which authorities have in response to a record surge in homicides.

As InSight Crime has pointed out, a major hurdle to citizen security in Puerto Rico is the level of systemic corruption within its police force. According to a September U.S. Department of Justice report, 1,709 officers were arrested between January 2005 and November 2010 on criminal charges ranging from theft to drug trafficking and homicide. The report also found the Puerto Rican police department guilty of committing widespread abuses of civil rights.

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