Dominicans: Not Happy With Prostitution Remark

April 3, 2010

Members of Bermuda’s Dominican community have voiced their objection to the comments made by Minister of Immigration Senator Lt. Col. David Burch where he stated:

The Department of Immigration has received complaints and investigated cases where women have been brought to Bermuda specifically from the Dominican Republic for the purposes of prostitution.

That, as well as what are perceived as ‘sham marriages’, have been given for the reason of a new policy requiring nationals of the Dominican Republic [as well as Panama and Philippines] to have new visas requirements effective May 01, 2010.

On the subject of ‘sham marriages’ Senator Burch said:

There have also been a number of cases where marriages with persons from Panama, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic involved significantly older Bermudian men married to women in their early twenties.

Moreover, when the Bermudian men arrive at the L. F. Wade International Airport to collect their spouses, often they cannot communicate with them as they do not speak each others’ respective language.

Some Dominican Republic nationals residing in Bermuda, as well as their spouses, have expressed grave concern over these remarks, and we understand may be seeking an apology from Colonel Burch.

While admitting that prostitutes are imported from the Dominican Republic, they took umbrage at the comment which they say unfairly paints all Dominican women in a bad light.

They have spoken of examples of legitimate marriages, and clearly stated that while they do not condone any wrongdoing from within their community, they object to generalization.

They have also expressed concerns for the children of unions between Dominicans and Bermudians, who they say may now face teasing for having a Dominican mother.

Bernews has received unconfirmed reports of women being brought in from the Dominican Republic, as well as other nations for both the purposes of prostitution, as well as for private strip shows. We understand rates can go as high as $400 per session in Bermuda, and that the “importation” of prostitutes and strippers has been occurring for a number of years.

In the Dominican Republic, prostitution is legal, and the nation has developed a reputation for sex tourism.

The US State Department has stated:

Prostitution is legal, although there are some prohibitions against sex with minors, and it is illegal for a third party to derive financial gain from prostitution. However, the government usually did not enforce prostitution laws. Sex tourism remained a serious problem, particularly in Las Terrenas, Cabarete, Sosua, and Boca Chica.

One very popular brothel located in the Dominican Republic has a website containing a full “menu”, where it details in no uncertain terms the services available, which start from $69 US. [We have not linked the website as we normally do, due to inappropriate content]

Bernews is not alleging nor implying that Dominican women are all involved in these activities.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Elricka Casey says:

    This article is poorly written as it shows a clear bias against Dominican Women. The danger of those comments is not the Domincan women who are allegedly brought to prostitute, but the propagation of hate and ignorance through the insinuation that Dominican people are morally corrupt and have come to destroy the “wholesome goodness” of Bermudian society. One thing this article failed to point out was the fact that it is Bermudian nationals who are soliciting and funding these services. There is not an objective and balanced view of the situation or the moral implications. Instead there is only an attempt at providing shaky statistics to approve the ignorant comments made by the Minister of Immigration. This article makes no mention of the damage the Bermudian nationals involved are causing to their own country or to Dominican women and their reputation. I don’t see how the propagation of hate and ignorance will improve Bermuda.

    Judgements prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances. ~Wayne W. Dyer

    We are each burdened with prejudice; against the poor or the rich, the smart or the slow, the gaunt or the obese. It is natural to develop prejudices. It is noble to rise above them. ~Author Unknown

    A minority group has “arrived” only when it has the right to produce some fools and scoundrels without the entire group paying for it. ~Carl T. Rowan

    Prejudice is the child of ignorance. ~William Hazlitt