October 31, 2017
Violence against women is on the rise in the Dominican Republic. As of this writing, 126 women have been murdered, according to Birmania Sánchez Camacho, a professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (Autonomous University of Santo Domingo-UASD) and organizer of the local Brides’ March against femenicides.
Launched in the United States in 2001, the annual Brides’ March remembers Gladys Ricart, a Dominican immigrant murdered by her ex-husband during her second wedding on September of 1999. On September 26, 1999, the world of Gladys Ricart and Agustín García came to a throbbing halt, with ripple effects trickling down to their relatives and closest friends. Every September 26, countless New Yorkers—mostly of Dominican descent—walk in unison to commemorate the slaying of Ricart while simultaneously bringing awareness about domestic violence.
The local version of the Brides’ March in Santo Domingo not only remembered Ricart but also the latest victim of violence against women: Emily Peguero, who was 16 years old and pregnant when her boyfriend murdered her in August of this year.
While the march usually takes place in September, a group of women in the Dominican Republic dressed as brides marched to condemn the latest patriarchal violence against women on Oct. 24, reports EFE.
With a weak and corrupt judicial system and a long tradition of impunity, femenicides go unpunished. The General Attorney’s Office estimates that about “102 women are murdered every year by their partners or ex-partners”, according to Listín Diario.