The Dominican Republic barely gets any coverage in American publications. But now, a very personal story was able to reach more than just the island.
Emely Peguero, a 16-year-old girl who was 5 months pregnant was found battered in a suitcase in the Dominican Republic over a week ago. According to DailyMail.com, Peguero was expecting a child with her boyfriend, Marlon Martinez, a 19-year-old United States citizen. Martinez was detained after he admitted to dumping her body after a botched abortion, which is illegal in the Dominican Republic. His mother, Marlyn Martinez was also detained after she admitted to knowing where Peguero’s body was, according to DailyMail.com.
Even with Martinez claiming that a doctor who performed an abortion procedure on Peguero led to her death, “tests also showed that her uterus was punctured and she suffered a blunt blow to the head,” according to the Attorney General of the Dominican Republic.
The doctor was identified by authorities, according to People Chica, and the name will be released after his/her court date.
This story hit the region very hard with citizens sending death threats to the Martinez family and their lawyer. “While I agree that this is a horrendous tragedy, and my heart breaks for Emely and her family, it also breaks for Marlon, Marlyn and their family. It hurts to see how people are calling for them to be stoned or lynched,” says Criminal Justice Reform Advocate Leyla Martinez.
This story also reached celebrities who expressed their disbelief on social media. Public figure and rapper, Cardi B wrote on a recent Instagram post that the Martinez family is trying to maintain a clean reputation by making Peguero get an abortion, then killing her because 19-year-old Martinez got a minor pregnant.
With this tragic situation came two days of mourning following Peguero’s burial, according to People Chica. A situation that has led to many Dominican Republic citizens seeking justice for a young girl gone too soon.