Things That Matter

FBI Agrees With Dominican Authorities That Deaths Of American Tourists Were All Of Natural Causes

The Dominican Republic is known to attract vacationers from all over the world. The Caribbean nation has beautiful beaches, stunning resorts, and the most chill ambiance. All of that sort of came to a halt during the summer when people began to steer clear of visiting after several tourists died while vacationing there. While the deaths occurred within several months and were all mostly unrelated to each other, the similarities were undeniable. It appeared that the tourists — 11 Americans that died in the Dominican Republic — passed away all of sudden or soon after consuming the beverages at their resorts. At least those were the claims. Now, after a thorough investigation, we’re getting the facts to these unfortunate events. 

The FBI investigated what led to the deaths of three people (out of 11 that died under suspicious circumstances) and report that they died of natural causes as local officials had concluded before.

Credit: @cnn / Twitter

BuzzFeed reports that “17 people died while traveling to the Caribbean nation in 2017. In 2018, there were 13 deaths reported in the country. Between January to June of this year, ten people have died so far.” 

However, the deaths that the FBI investigated were that of three people — a couple from Maryland and a woman from Pennsylvania — who all died within days of each other. The FBI had previously said during the summer that they would look into the possibilities of tainted alcohol, and initial results showed that was not the case. 

“The results of the additional, extensive toxicology testing completed to date have been consistent with the findings of local authorities,” a State Department spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “Our condolences and sympathy go out to the families during this difficult time.”

While the initial results of the FBI investigation have been completed, the FBI still needs to test two more toxins found.

Credit: @travelpulse / Twitter

“In the interest of providing as thorough an investigation as possible in this challenging case, the FBI is testing for two additional toxins and will provide Dominican authorities with results when tests are complete,” FBI officials said, according to BuzzFeed News. 

An attorney that is representing the family of the Maryland couple — Nathaniel E. Holmes and Cynthia A. Day — told ABC News that they are not satisfied with the results. Lawyer Steven E. Bullock said the coincidences are too high to rule their death a result of natural causes. 

“You had a couple that died of the same ailment at the same time, and they want to say that it’s natural causes,” Bullock told ABC News. “I think there’s something for us to continue to look into.”

From the very start of these strange occurrences, it seemed as if a curse descended upon the Dominican Republic because people were either dying in DR or getting sick.

Credit: yosoymolusco / Instagram

In June, 47 people traveling with a group in the Dominican Republic got “violently sick” after staying at a resort. 

“We went [to Hotel Riu Palace Macao] for the week — some longer, some shorter,” Dana Flowers, a member of the Central Oklahoma Parrothead Association who was in charge of the trip told People magazine. “We were enjoying the beach and the pool, and about 3 or 4 days into the trip, we started hearing about people getting sick. They were getting diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches.”

Tourist officials in the Dominican Republic maintained there was nothing out of the ordinary going on. The State Department agrees that despite people dying while on vacation, the occurrence of that is quite common.

Credit: fannymccandless / Instagram

Officials say people die on vacation all the time, and the deaths that happened in the Dominican Republic is no different from any other year. 

“We can see that many international media outlets are just going for it as news, just to get the headline, and they are not really getting into what’s going on…The caricatures have been made, and some in media have done a lot of damage,” Luis José Chávez, president of the Dominican Tourism Press Association, told The Washington Post earlier this summer. “The whole country is trying to get over this and gain back the image of what we really are.”

During the summer, even Cardi B chimed in to support the Dominican Republic and the bad press they were receiving over the tourist deaths.

Credit: yosoymolusco / Instagram

“What is it that’s happening? I don’t know,” Cardi B said in Spanish on her Instagram. “If it’s you know, bad press I don’t know what’s happening, but something is happening. What I do know is that the Dominican Republic is the most beautiful country, and everyone has fun there. Even poor people have fun. So it hurts me a lot when people say ‘that country is bad. That country is this and that. What is happening?”

READ: Dominicans Are Taking To Social Media To Make Sure That People Stop Trying To Cancel The Dominican Republic

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From FBI Raids To Felony Charges: It Was A Bad Week For YouTubers

Entertainment

From FBI Raids To Felony Charges: It Was A Bad Week For YouTubers

iamalexstokes / jakepaul / Instagram

It’s been a bad week for some of the world’s most popular YouTubers. Jake Paul and the Stoke twins are dealing with law enforcement and it’s not in their favor. Here’s what happened this week with some of your faves.

Jake Paul, brother of problematic Logan Paul, had the FBI raid his home this week.

The FBI raided Jak Paul’s Calabasas home in connection with the riot at the Scottsdale Fashion Square in Arizona. Paul claimed not to be involved in the rioting and looting though he admits it looks like he was on camera. The YouTuber claims that he was just trying to find the George Floyd protests and was hoping to figure out from being at the Scottsdale Fashion Square.

The raid is tied to the riot in Scottsdale, Arizona that Paul was involved with.

Scottsdale Police first issued arrest warrants and charges for Paul and his friends in connection to the riot but have since dismissed them without prejudice. According to the police department, the charges were dropped so that that FBI could complete their own investigation into Paul. The guns seized from his home were not the reason the FBI raided the home and are currently in Los Angeles Sherrif’s Department, according to TMZ. The guns can be retrieved if Paul can show that he owns them with proof of purchase.

The Stokes Twins are also facing some serious charges from law enforcement.

Alan and Alex Stokes are famous for their prank videos. However, one of their prank videos from last October has gotten them into a lot of trouble. The twins are each facing one felony count of fake imprisonment affected by violence, menace, fraud, or deceit, and one demeanor count of falsely reporting an emergency.

The twins filmed a prank in October 2019 where they dressed in all black with ski masks and carried duffle bags full of cash. According to a press release from Orange County district attorney’s office, the twins ordered an Uber and the driver refused to drive them thinking they had committed a crime. A witness called the police and when the police arrived they ordered the Uber driver out of his car with guns drawn. Police let the driver go when it was determined he was not involved.

The twins are facing four years in jail for the prank.

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“These were not pranks,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the press release. “These are crimes that could have resulted in someone getting seriously injured or even killed. Law enforcement officers are sworn to protect the public and when someone calls 911 to report an active bank robbery they are going to respond to protect lives. Instead, what they found was some kind of twisted attempt to gain more popularity on the internet by unnecessarily putting members of the public and police officers in danger.”

Be careful with your pranks, kids. You never know when your jajajas will turn to crimes because of a lack of foresight.

READ: The World’s Highest-Paid YouTuber Made $29 Million In 2019 And Their Identity May Surprise You

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People Are Using Social Media to Highlight Racism On The Islands

Things That Matter

People Are Using Social Media to Highlight Racism On The Islands

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The world is paying attention to racism in the world right now. The Black Lives Matter movement has gone international and people are starting to call out racism everywhere they see it. This means shining a light on racism on social media to really highlight the issue.

Afro-Caribbean people are using #AquíNoExisteElRacismoPero and #PeroNoSomosRacists to highlight racism.

Social media users are sharing their experiences with racism on the Caribbean islands and the hashtags speak volumes. The hashtags translate to #ButWeAreNotRacists and #ThereIsNoRacismHereBut are being used to highlight racism in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

There is an understood in the Latino community that racism runs deep but it is often ignored. Culturally, it has plagued the Latino community for generations with microaggressions about hair and “bettering the race.” It is something that we need to address and these hashtags are calling it out.

Some Dominicans are highlighting the microaggressions that have existed for as long as time.

Microaggressions are some of the most common and annoying moments of racism around. They are little but when there are enough they really add up fast. They are all around and are said so often that people often ignore them when they are said. “Pelo malo” one of the most common examples of racist microaggressions in the Latino community. It is always Afro-Latinos who have “pelo malo.”

The hair microaggressions are some of the earliest.

Twitter users are coming forward with stories of having their hair relaxed and chemically treated to be “better.” The focus on Euro-centric beauty within the Afro-Latino community is toxic and instilling it in children so young is a traumatic and hurtful experience.

Some people have been able to use the experience to empower themselves.

People who can take a moment like this ad grow from it are the kind of people you want to know. You go with your self-acceptance and love. There is nothing more beautiful than being yourself and learning to love all of you is a journey so many have to make.

There are so many microaggressions that have become far to familiar in our community and we have to fight against them.

Cosas que escuché en mi entorno mientras crecía :"En nuestra familia no hay negros""Mijito tienes que mejorar la raza…

Posted by Stefano Navarro on Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Things I heard in my surroundings growing up:
“There are no black in our family.”
“Mijito you have to improve the race.”
“Marry a white girl.”
“You’re not black, you’re tricky, don’t say that again.”
“I’m not black, I’m brunette.”
“You mean the black I was selling….”
“You work like black.”
“You sweat like black.”
“Your kids came out happily white.”
“You smell like black.”
#PeroNoSomosRacistas

READ: 8 Racist Habits Latinos Seriously Need To Drop

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