Dominican Republic joins GARA, vows to eradicate child sexual exploitation in tourism
Santo Domingo.- Deputy Attorney General of the Dominican Republic, Yeni Berenice Reynoso, has reaffirmed the Public Ministry’s commitment to combating sexual tourism, particularly the exploitation of children, in the country. Reynoso emphasized the importance of tourism to the national economy but clarified the government’s firm stance against pedophiles, vowing relentless pursuit of such offenders.
This statement was made following the Dominican Republic’s entry into the Regional Action Group of the Americas (GARA) aimed at eradicating child sexual exploitation. Reynoso underscored the critical need to eliminate practices harming children and adolescents, especially those from vulnerable communities.
Reynoso also noted the challenges in combating child pornography, particularly through cyberspace and the dark web. Despite the technical difficulties, she mentioned that the country has strengthened its technical personnel to prosecute these crimes. Recent operations in Sosúa, Puerto Plata, and the eastern region demonstrate the country’s proactive approach in this area.
However, Reynoso stressed that progress should not lead to complacency and highlighted the need for immediate, concrete actions rather than long-term bureaucratic plans. She expressed a desire to see tangible results soon, emphasizing that agreements should lead to active compliance rather than merely symbolic gestures.
The signing ceremony for the Dominican Republic’s entry into GARA was attended by notable figures, including First Lady Raquel Arbaje, Minister of Tourism David Collado, and Angelita Duarte from Paraguay, who holds the general secretariat of GARA. Reynoso praised the collaborative effort of the public and private sectors, as well as law enforcement agencies like the National Police and the Tourist Police, in tackling the issue of child sexual exploitation in tourist destinations.