The church, thriving businesses square off in Dominican Republic’s Colonial Zone
Santo Domingo.- With five bars shuttered in the Colonial Zone on noise thus far, the locals who still to complain of disorder face a drawn out battle with the area’s sustained growth as a tourism attraction and its accompanying effects.
Some residents complain that bars and night clubs appear to be family homes in the daytime because they have no signs to identify them in front.
Next to the famous Duarte Park life for the residents has become hell on lost sleep, as the nightly ruckus of gays and lesbians led Las Mercedes church priest Santiago Bautista to call it "Sodom and Gomorrah."
He complained of immoral acts performed in plain sight, made even worse by the noise from inside the bars and outside by customers. "This is unbearable, I couldn’t sleep last night, I shut the doors, but it seems that they were playing drums and I don’t know why. It seems they do it on purpose to keep anyone from sleeping.”
He called the authorities “very permissive” because they’ve let the streets which were quiet and religious become Sodom with the homosexuals acts.
I’m so embarrassed because they to do their "stuff" there, leaning against a tree or on a bench, even if it’s in front of a church," said a resident who didn’t want her name used.
From a handful of bars and nightclubs and just two or three restaurants in the 1980s, the Colonial Zone boasts dozens of those businesses today, and a trend toward further development.