- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (AP) - “Dummy Ruiz?” “Dear Pineapple?”

A judge says such names should be a no-no in this Caribbean country where parents also have been known to model their children’s identities after car brands and cartoon characters.

Mazda Altagracia, Toshiba Fidelina, Seno Jimenez (Breast Jimenez), Querida Pina (Dear Pineapple), Tonton Ruiz (Dummy Ruiz) and Querido Familia Perez (Dear Family Perez) are among the unique names listed in the nation’s civil registry.

Some give the nod to famous personalities: Winston Churchill de la Cruz and Ernesto Che Perez, for example, the latter a reference to the late Latin American revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara. Others, such as Rambo Mota (Rambo Pot), reflect a potential reverence or fondness for drugs.

Central Electoral Commission judge Jose Angel Aquinas has submitted a proposal to ban any names that could be confusing or give no indication of gender.

Vulgar names, those having more than three words or those difficult to pronounce (unless they are of children born to foreigners) should also be banned, Aquinas said.

The commission is expected to consider the proposal sometime this year although no date has been set. Aquinas was out of the country and unavailable for comment.

A second judge has suggested that instead of banning strange names, civil registry officials should explain to parents the consequences of choosing and using them.

Judge Aura Celeste Fernando said in a statement Tuesday that it is not prudent for the government to have the final say on names parents give their children.

Venezuela sought a similar crackdown on odd names two years ago, although officials later rejected the proposal because they said it could violate “the right to liberty.”

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