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Injured and Suffering Bodies: The Trafficking and Femicide of Dominican Immigrant Women in Puerto Rico

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De Corpore – ‘On the Body’ through the History of Idea, Views of the Body in Philosophy, Literature and Religion. Editor: Ramona Simuț


After drug and weapon trafficking, trafficking of women is one of the most lucrative businesses in the world. According to sociologists César Rey Hernández and Luisa Hernández Angueira in People Trafficking in Puerto Rico: The Challenge of Invisibility (2010), fifty percent of the victims are women and minors. This translates to 2.7 million women and girls that are enslaved in this inhuman business. Puerto Rico is no exception. One of its main problems is the slavery of Dominican women who, in search of a better life in Puerto Rico, are lured to illegally migrate to the island for better opportunities. However, once in the new territory, they are imprisoned and forced to become prostitutes. In addition, femicide is another world-wide pressing issue. The World Health Organization (WHO) affirms that violence against women, between fifteen and forty-four years of age, is the leading cause of death, more than cancer, malaria, car accidents and war combined, and the report ‘A Gendered Analysis of Violent Death’, compiled by Small Arms Survey Center, fourteen out of twenty-five countries with the highest rates of femicide in the world are in Latin America and the Caribbean. This essay focuses on Life is a Sexually Transmittable Disease (2014) by Wilfredo Mattos Cintron. In this novel, the enslaved-immigrant girls and women constitute an ‘injured body’, a body that is merely diminished. The third-world prostitute’s body is the material side of male-controlled dominance, subjugation and violence. Mattos Cintron’s text denounces the ‘suffering body of women’—rape, kidnapping, beating, femicide, their exclusion from human rights and sexual relegation. Moreover, along with patriarchy’s power and the socioeconomic variables as responsible agents of creating the injured body, globalization and capitalism objectify and make women’s bodies currency of the system.

Frequenza di pubblicazione:
3 volte all'anno
Argomenti della rivista:
Theology and Religion, General Topics and Biblical Reception