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The chapter’s argument is grounded on close readings of military records related to the persecution and killing of the Afro-Dominican religious leader Olivorio Mateo at the hands of the U.S. Marines during the Occupation of 1916–24. The official Marine records are studied in tandem with Afro-Dominican salves, interviews, photographs, letters, and a novel Song of the Water Saints (2002), to demonstrate how the logic of the occupation contributed to imagining the Dominican racialized body as a site that needed to be controlled and civilized. The nonofficial evidence the chapter recovers and preserves show the multiple ways in which racialized Dominicans contradicted the epistemic violence imposed on them by the Dominican state and the US marines.

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