According to the State Department's website, 17 Americans died in the Dominican Republic while on vacation in 2017. There were 13 recorded fatalities in 2018. Although there are more than 500 licensed travel agents in the Dominican Republic, many people buy their tickets directly from airlines or tour operators rather than through a booking site like Agoda or TripAdvisor.
The number of deaths is likely to be higher than reported because some accidents may not be recognized as such by the government. Also, some travelers may have chosen not to report their deaths for privacy reasons.
Almost all tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic are caused by traffic accidents. Gun violence and suicide are also significant factors affecting tourism.
Gun crime was once considered a major problem for visitors to the country. However, after several years of efforts by law enforcement agencies, this perception has changed and gun-related incidents have decreased significantly.
There were an estimated 300 homicides per 100,000 people in 2012, one of the highest rates in the world. Most victims are locals who fall into poverty and struggle to survive. Police say most criminals operate with impunity because of lack of evidence and corruption within the justice system.
In addition, there are reports of sexual assault against tourists.
Since June 2018, the State Department has reported the deaths of six US visitors who died while staying at all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic. The majority of them died as a result of heart attacks, pulmonary edemas, or other obvious natural causes. In the Dominican Republic, 13 Americans were killed in 2018. That's more than any other country.
However, some have questioned whether there is a connection between the deaths and others that may have gone unreported. The government of the Dominican Republic has not released information about any other people who may have died in the disaster, and officials with the US State Department have said they do not know what caused the deaths of these individuals.
The first known death was that of an American woman in her 50s named Diane DeBenedictis. On June 8, 2018, she went into cardiac arrest while sitting in a chair at the hotel pool in Punta Cana. She was taken to a hospital where she was declared dead. An autopsy revealed she had a previously undiagnosed heart condition. This sent shock waves through the medical community because DeBenedictis was very fit and didn't drink or use drugs. Some doctors speculated that the stress of drowning might have triggered her heart attack.
Five other Americans followed suit over the next few months.
In 2019, 11 American tourists were killed in the Dominican Republic. Ten of the victims were on the same tour boat, which sank off the coast of Tortuguero National Park.
The eleventh victim was a Canadian woman who was living in the Dominican Republic. She too was on the same boat as the other 10 Americans; however, it is unknown how she died.
In 2018, 10 people were killed in Punta Cana. The list includes nine foreigners and one Dominican national. They all worked for the company responsible for transportation to and from the site where the boats are parked.
The tenth person was a local man who was shot by police while trying to steal a car. Officers had been sent to arrest another man related to the case, but he escaped their capture.
In 2017, seven people were killed in Punta Cana. All were foreign tourists from Europe (five) and North America (two).
Also in 2016, 12 people were killed in Punta Cana. All were foreign tourists from Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, and the United States.
According to FBI toxicology testing, the deaths of three American tourists in the Dominican Republic were caused by natural causes, a US State Department official said Friday. The findings corroborate those offered by Dominican officials. "At this time, we can confirm that the cause of death for these three individuals is consistent with what has been reported by the Dominican government - natural causes," said Jennifer Elzea, spokesperson for the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department.
The bodies of Nancy Leon Thomas, 59, and her daughter Christina Marie Thomas, 17, who was visiting from Oregon, were found last month near their hotel room in the popular tourist town of Punta Cana. An American hiker known as "Jack" was also killed in the area during spring break in 2013. A medical examiner in the Dominican Republic concluded that Jack's death was due to accidental hypothermia.
A third American died in January when his scuba diving boat sank off the coast of Puerto Rico. James Gaynor, 63, of Massachusetts, was one of four people who died when the vessel went down near Corozal Bay.
Elzea said the FBI has not released any additional information about the tourists' deaths. She added that consular officers have visited the families and provided any necessary support.
In the Dominican Republic in 2020, there were around nine murders per 100,000 residents, a decrease from a homicide rate of 9.5 the previous year.
|Homicides per 100,000 inhabitants|
Allow me to elaborate on this tweet and its consequences for player development. Even on the surface, the contrasts between the United States and the Dominican Republic are obvious. The Dominican Republic has a population of around 10.5 million people, compared to 319 million in the United States. It is a small country in Central America that shares borders with Haiti and Cuba.
But what most people don't realize is that baseball has become an important part of the Dominican culture. In fact, according to some studies, more than half of all Dominicans claim they are baseball fans. This follows a trend of popular sports in the DR being introduced into the US via MLB players. For example, basketball is popular in the USA but it was actually born in Spain; soccer/football is popular in England but it too was invented there. Baseball, on the other hand, has been embraced by the Americans because of its easy nature when compared to other sports.
In addition to being a popular sport, baseball has also become an important part of economic growth. As mentioned before, much of the population considers themselves baseball fans so when games or training camps are held in the Dominican Republic everyone comes out to see them. There are also many tourists that come to see the major league teams play because of the unique experience it is to see professional athletes in real life. The revenue generated from these events helps support local businesses and contributes to the economy of the country.