Sosua is a beautiful beach town with beautiful people, but it has a real and ugly problem, a bully program by authorities that is literally killing us and the tourist trade. I am Yulendy Burgos and I want to tell you about the dire need for basic human rights and police reform in Sosua. It is no longer safe for single women to walk on the streets of Sosua. They are often arrested with their only crime is that they are a woman. There have been many disturbing reports of how women are treated after being jailed. It is not unusual for a woman in jail to be denied food and or water unless they agree to perform sex acts on authorities. If an incarcerated woman doesn’t have enough money to get out of jail, authorities may force her into sex acts to make up the lack of funds. This is barbaric and must end. Many years ago, I was severely beaten by four agents of the Specialized Tourist Security Corps when I tried to stop agents from mistreating a woman. I was also jailed. I was simply speaking up and trying to do the right thing. Amnesty International has taken notice of our plight. If you look on their website, you will note a 21 percent increase in the killing of women and girls from 2016 to 2017. The site also noted allegations of repeated unnecessary and excessive use of force during social protests. Haitian people are also treated very poorly in Sosua. Unfortunately it is all too common for a Haitian to be arrested without being asked to produce their legal documents. Tourism is the biggest industry for Sosua and our country, but the “bully program” is destroying it. Business owners especially nightclub owners have been threatened by authorities who can shut their establishments at will. Members of the business community are often harassed with notices. According to statistics from the United States State Department… the Dominican Republic ranks among the ten to fifteen percent most murderous countries in the world. This summer our country caught the attention of media around the world after twelve American tourists died in the Dominican Republic. One of those deaths happened in Sosua. It is no wonder that tourism in our area is said to be down by as much as ninety percent. There is a need for better training and education of our police. Right now there is an abuse of power. Residents, supporters and business leaders need to come together to end the bully program now. Everyone is entitled to basic human, civil and property rights. I am asking you to work with me to reach that goal. In addition we need to get investors to focus on creating jobs in our area and getting better healthcare for our residents. Nothing will change if people remain silent.