Ambassador James W. Brewster’s Remarks
Extradition Exchange of Instruments Ceremony
Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.
– The Honorable Miguel Vargas, Minister of Foreign Affairs;
– The Honorable Jean Alain Rodriguez, Attorney General;
– Distinguished guests;
– Members of the Press;
It is my great pleasure and honor to represent the United States’ Government today as we take the final step, this exchange of instruments that now brings the new Extradition Treaty, the first in over 100 years, into force between our two countries. This day was a long time in the making. For nearly three years dedicated public servants from both our countries worked hand-in-hand to develop a new and lasting Extradition Treaty, confirming and renewing our commitment to law enforcement cooperation with the Dominican Republic and security in the region.
While this treaty is an important symbol of the enduring friendship between our two countries, it is also a critical tool in our efforts to combat crime. I want to begin by highlighting the significance of the document that goes into force today. Cooperation between our governments on law enforcement issues generally, and extradition specifically, is a success story. In regards to extradition, efforts have been fruitful despite operating under the terms of an antiquated treaty, dating back to 1909. Times have changed, crimes have changed, and the modernization of that treaty is long overdue. This new treaty now broadens the scope of extraditable offenses and establishes clear and contemporary extradition procedures. In plain terms, this new treaty enables us to bring even more criminals to justice, strengthening safety and security in both countries and the region.
Minister Vargas and Attorney General Rodriguez, thank you for your continued support. Your predecessors were instrumental in bringing us to this pinnacle moment, so do please extend my gratitude to Ministers Navarro and Brito. Though the work to get this treaty into force is now complete, the effort to combat crime never ceases, and so it now falls to you to carry on the noble work of creating a safer and more secure Dominican Republic. This treaty will serve to assist you in your efforts.
This is a monumental day for law enforcement cooperation between the United States and the Dominican Republic. History will surely view the modernization of this treaty as an important contribution to the growing legacy of collaboration between our governments. On a personal note, it has been a pleasure to work with all of you on this important endeavor. This treaty will stand long after we are gone from here, and I hope that it is as great a source of pride for you, as it is for me. Thank you all.