Dominican Musician ‘El Alfa’ Punished for YouTube Video


Espa├▒olDominican urban music artist Emanuel “El Alfa” Herrera began a 15-day community service sentence on Wednesday, after allegedly┬áinsulting the country’s founding fathers, the Attorney General’s Office reported.

Herrera is to help clean and maintain Santo Domingo’s Plaza de la Bandera as punishment.

El artista deber├í ayudar con el mantenimiento del Parque de la Bandera (Procuradur├şa de la Rep├║blica)
The artist will be cleaning the Plaza de la Bandera for the next 15 days.┬á(Procuradur├şa de la Rep├║blica)
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In February, the artist posted a video onto YouTube where, to a backdrop of laughter, he levelled profanities against┬áJuan Pablo Duarte, Mat├şas Ram├│n Mella, and Francisco del Rosario S├ínchez, who played a key role in the Caribbean nation’s War of Independence (1843-9).

The video sparked controversy after spreading through social media, and the musician was forced to apologize.

“I apologize to my public and the Dominican people, because they are the fatherland. It was never my intention to offend you, nor the┬áheroes and martyrs of my country, it was all a misunderstanding,” he said.

Herrera claimed that the video was made amid “speculations that I was staying in the United States to acquire [immigration] papers, when in reality I was working. I am happy to be in my land, and I made that video to tell people that it’s not true what is being said.”

“I’m going to take something positive from this moment, because I have young people looking up to me, and I have to promote values,” he added.

Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito told a press conference that “we want to grow, educate, be better, correct error, and seek perfection.”

“That’s why rather than a punishment and making charges that don’t achieve what we want, we’ve decided to give Alfa a very important opportunity to promote patriotic values and symbols,” he added.

Dominican law typically imposes between six and 30 days in prison for activities deemed to disrespect the nation, according to┬áJohn Henry Reynoso of the High Tech Crimes Unit of the Attorney General’s Office.

Sources: El Caribe, El Nacional.

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