Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sometimes, I Just Don't Know...

So I'm reading the DR news wire, as I do everyday, and I come across this item:

DR depends on tourism
The Dominican Republic has Latin America's highest tourism receipts per GDP.

According to the Latin Business Chronicle (LBC), 11.1% of the country's GDP comes from tourism. Costa Rica with 7.5% and Panama with 6.0% are two other countries with high tourism revenues. The report by LBC reveals that Panama has experienced the largest increase in tourist visitors while Uruguay had the largest increase in revenues derived from tourism.

The LBC report indicates that Latin America received a record total of 68.6 million international arrivals last year, an increase of 2.9% since 2006.

At first I was like HOT DIGGITY DOG! DR is the SHIZZNIT!

But then further on down the line I read this:

Studying border poverty
According to the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), unemployment, the lack of development policies and a lack of institutional cooperation are the reasons for the high poverty levels in communities near the Dominican border with Haiti.

The report indicates that the lack of a planning process and the absence of efficiency in implementing programs that have been developed are a cause for concern. The JICA report reveals that poverty levels at the border are at 64%. The current situation has led to an increase in poverty as well as increased migration by young people in search of jobs.

Listin Diario explains that JICA's goal is to use the report as a guideline for reducing poverty in the border region. JICA hopes to reduce poverty 15% by 2015 and 50% by 2030.

"The reduction in the number of inhabitants and the aging of the local population has made the border community lose relevance at national level", says the report.

The report also states that it is the part of the country that is most susceptible to migration from Haiti. Also, the cities in the region are small and aren't sufficiently able to function as commercial centers or as access points to other important commerce markets.

JICA's report included studies on the provinces of Montecristi, Dajabon, Santiago Rodriguez, Elias Pina, Independencia, Bahoruco and Pedernales. The report calls on the government to provide incentives aimed at helping the region to become economically independent.

The study also urges the government to make the region an access point for commerce with Haiti and make the most of the good political relationship the DR and Haiti have developed in recent years.

And I'm like WTF? What about all those tourism dollars? Where is it going?

Then I came across this item:

Was it an execution?
Family members of four men shot and killed by police on Tuesday in the Villa Duarte area of Santo Domingo East say that police used excessive force and are accusing them of executing the men.

Family members say the police shot the four men even after they came out with their hands up. Carmen Batista says that police dragged her grandson Cesar Junior Rijo Batista from the house and shot him in the head. El Caribe reports that tear gas was thrown into the Rijo residence, adding that more than 30 police officers were present during the incident.

Listin Diario reports that family members admitted to the victims' criminal behavior, but said that was no reason to shoot them "and throw them in the trunk of a car, as if they were dogs." According to police, Maikel Castillo Reyes, Juan Marino Rivera, Cesar Junior Rijo Batista, Emil Santana and Victor Santos belonged to the "Lince" gang. Santos, the only one who survived the confrontation with police, admitted that he and his friends were part of the gang and sold drugs in the neighborhood.

And I was like OMG that fucking place is so crazy! Why am I trying to go live there? (And quietly, I was scanning the news on that story to make sure my uncles were NOT one of the "arresting" officers. YIKES!) But THEN I was like, "How is that different from NYPD beat downs?"

Sometimes, man, I tell ya- it's just not worth gnawing through the ropes. Know what I mean?

*smooches...realizing I have so much work left to do in this life*
so maybe it will behoove me to see a doctor about my ailments...