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Bob Menendez imbroglio casts light on Dominican Republic sex industry

BOCA CHICA, Dominican Republic -- By day, Italian tourists pack the beach of this Caribbean seafront village. By night, prostitutes fill its streets.

“Prostitution is everywhere here; on the beach, in the bars, in the clubs,” said Antonio Guzman, 36, a hustler who has worked the beach for 15 years and regularly connects tourists with prostitutes. “This place runs on it.”

On a weekend at midday recently, a few blocks from a beach where hundreds of Europeans tanned, a few middle-age men entered a small club on a quiet street. Inside, they had their choice of pretty, young, mostly Dominican women: $50 bought them two hours in a private room with the girl of their choice, drinks and food, the men said.

Across this nation of 10 million, similar scenes play out — from small bars and hotels where tourists pay $40 for a half hour with a woman to packaged sex tourism vacations costing upward of $4,000 for a three-night, all-inclusive stay.

Long before explosive allegations emerged claiming Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and a political contributor flew to the country for wild parties with several prostitutes, the Dominican Republic had cemented its reputation as a hub for sex tourism. Menendez has denied the allegations, calling them a political smear campaign.

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The DR is a big country, need to say that the places where prostitution occurs are well defined, not the whole island.

Boca Chica in the South and some areas of the North Coast are the main hubs but there`s also family tourism and retirees that enjoy vacationing without venturing to those adult-specific areas.

Being so diverse in its tourism offer, there`s no question that the DR has adult tourism as there`s other sorts ( sports, family vacations, all inclusives ).


"Sex tourism" is NOT part of dominican tourism offer like you people are trying to make it seem. That is an illegal activity in the DR.

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