The well-known anthropologist Tahira Vargas presented on Tuesday 19 March results of the research on “Internal trafficking of women, girls, boys and adolescents in the Dominican Republic” at the Spanish Cultural Center.

The work was commissioned byOBMICA (institution on Caribbean migrations). We summarize some of the final findings or conclusions:

        It was treated internally because it is relative to the interior of the country.

        The main generator of trafficking, because of its deep roots, is the family : because it is the initial space where physical violence, sexual abuse and power relations occur.

        Although the family context can be very varied: nuclear families, single-parent families , extended families , with friends, etc.

        Trafficking comes in many forms: commercial sexual exploitation, labor exploitation ( forced deliveries 24×7 and locked in the night in the grocery stores), “honest” marriages (to get out of the shame of a daughter who is not a virgin or who is pregnant ), “forced” or “servile” marriages including daughters sold to men, microtraffic (mules), exploitation in domestic work (including sexual abuse).

        Some of the causes that general treats it are: l to construction of the affectivity from the permissiveness with the own body ; c oncepción patriarchal marriage; r elations interpersonal “reciprocity”, where “help” in exchange for favors.

        Trafficking is not only a problem of poverty (it also occurs between stable economic levels and professional academic levels) , it is above all a problem that feeds on relationships of trust and violation of human rights.

        The traffickers are also very varied, from the family itself, the couple, friends / as, owners of groceries or shops, maipolos (people who charge favors with sexual favors), even the well-known pimps (sexually enslaves women).

        Some of the consequences of trafficking are physical violence (highlight the abuse of the LGTBI population), sexual abuse, circles of violence, depression, revictimization ; but at the same time dreams and projects of forming a family, studying, helping other people with the same situation, etc. were also found.

        The recommendations are aimed at families, schools, community, government institutions, focused especially on training as prevention.


Marisa Folgado Martí, MDR
Dominican Missionary in La Zurza, Dominican Republic