The Dominican Republic Is No Paradise for American Tourists.
The Dominican Republic is no paradise for American tourists. Since the beginning of 2019, 5 American tourists have died on the Island. Three of the five deaths were at the same resort. Another woman was brutally attacked at her hotel and was left for dead. Just last night, Dominican Republic native and Boston Red Sox Slugger, David Ortiz was shot in the back at a popular night club.
The Dominican Republic is located 947 miles SE of Florida. It is the second largest country in the Caribbean and has a population of more than 10 million. The Dominican Republic occupies five eights of the island and Haiti occupies three-eighths.
The Dominican Republic is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America and the Caribbean. The country has been reporting strong economic growth for the past few years and poverty is on the decline. However, 40% of the population still lives below the poverty line. Violent crime to include armed robbery, homicide, and sexual assault is a strong concern throughout the Dominican Republic. The Island has a black market where weapons and drugs are easy to get. The criminal justice system is also very weak which contributes to a high level of crime.
The fact that three Americans have died in the same hotel since March 2019 is frightening and should worry anyone interested in traveling to the Dominican Republic. A 41-year-old psychotherapist and her husband were staying at the Bahia Principe hotel. She had a drink from the minibar in her hotel room and less than one hour later she collapsed and was pronounced dead. The cause of death listed as respiratory failure and pulmonary edema.
Another couple Edward Holmes and Cynthia Day were found dead in their hotel room five days later in the same hotel. Respiratory failure and fluid in the lungs was the cause of death. Is this a coincidence or is someone poisoning American tourists? The Tourism Minister of the Dominican Republic has stated that the deaths were isolated incidents and that the country remains a safe place for tourists. Currently, the FBI is assisting with the ongoing investigation.
In April, another American tourist named Robert Wallace,67, of California, became ill after he drank a scotch from his room minibar at the Hard Rock & Casino in Punta Cana. This man was an avid traveler and in good health before his trip to the Dominican Republic.
Tammy Lawrence-Daley, a 51-year old from Delaware was also strangled and beaten at a Punta Cana resort. She walked alone to get a snack at the hotel lounge and was found eight hours later clinging to life. She has had six surgeries and it has taken her months to recover.
David Ortiz who is a native of the Island and a former baseball star with the Boston Red Sox was shot in the back in a popular Dominican Republic bar. The bullet went through his stomach and he was rushed into emergency surgery. He is currently in stable condition.
Right now there is a level 2 warning on travel to the Dominican Republic. This means you should exercise increased caution if you decide to go. Although resort areas are generally safer than urban areas, there are many problems with drugs and weapons all over the Island.
The Dominican Republic is not a paradise for American tourists with 5 Americans dead since the beginning of 2019. There are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding these deaths of American tourists. The Tourism Minister has said that these deaths are unrelated and that the Dominican Republic is a safe place to vacation. The FBI is on the Island assisting with the ongoing investigations. If you are looking to go to the Caribbean for your next vacation, you may want to skip the Dominican Republic until the truth behind these mysterious deaths has been determined.