Archive for the ‘Haiti’ Category

Expelled from the Dominican Republic: Other factors

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Who profits from the forced emigrations?

by David Holmes Morris

August 28, 2015

 The ruling by the Dominican Constitutional Tribunal of September, 2013, which formalized the long-standing informal practice of denying citizenship to Haitian migrants and their descendants, and a new wave of nationalist attacks on the streets against Haitians, have affected the lives of thousands of people in monstrous ways. They have brought up again the question of Dominican anti-Haitianism as the primary force behind the deportations. But the usual explanation of widespread racism and xenophobia among the Dominican people rings hollow and seems inadequate. Other recent developments suggest more specific causes.

((Juan Vicini (left) and Fernando Capellán - Diario Libre photo))

((Juan Vicini, left, and Fernando Capellán – Diario Libre photo))

There are clearly economic reasons for anti-Haitianism and a new project for industrial development along the Haitian-Dominican border, first made public at the same time as the court ruling, may provide clues to similar economic reasons both for the ruling and for the current resurgence of anti-Haitianism. The histories and the present interests of the prime movers behind the project and their connections with the court that made the ruling hint at behind-the-scenes manipulation.

For years there have been plans in Hispaniola and in this country to diversify the economy of the island, where the sugar industry was the dominant force for many years, by finding other uses for the abundant cheap labor that has made fortunes for sugar barons. Jean-Claude Duvalier, at the urging of his US and Haitian advisers, envisioned turning Haiti into the “Taiwan of the Caribbean.” Haitian workers would be moved from the Dominican cane fields to sweatshops, where they would assemble textiles, electronic devices and baseballs, destined mostly, like the sugar, for US markets. (more…)

What will the Dominican Republic lose if it expels the Haitians?

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

haitianos[Translation of a BBC Mundo article from June 18, 2015. See original here and related articles here, here, here, here and here. See World Bank report referred to below here.]

By Natalia Guerrero

The Dominican Republic and Haiti are two small countries sharing a small island where a potentially large problem is brewing.

Beginning on Wednesday, at least 180,000 Haitians, of the 458,000 the government calculates are living on Dominican soil, became subject to deportation for lack of documents, under provisions of the new Dominican Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners.

The new migration measure, which became law in 2013 after a controversial ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal (CT), seeks to normalize the migratory and labor situation of citizens of foreign origins who live in Dominican territory, and affects above all the Haitian population, which makes up 87% of immigrants in the country. (more…)

Haitian rightists prepare for elections

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

Supporters of Duvalier and Martelly form political parties

[Translations of two articles from AlterPresse of Port-au-Prince for April 15 and April 23, 2014. See originals here and here.]

Self-proclaimed former soldiers found pro-Martelly, Macoutist political party

Belladère, April 15 – After the attempted occupation of abandoned barracks in 2012, men claiming to be former members of the Army of Haiti have surfaced again, this time in Belladère, at the heart of a political party that has already aroused concern in the border community, the AlterPresse agency has learned.

On Tuesday, April 8, about 200 men, wearing uniforms of the army dissolved in 1995 and of the Macoute, the Duvalierist militia, met at the office of the Belladère vice-delegate [a local official appointed by the federal government] for the purpose of appointing Lucknel Morette as head of a party known as the Parti de la Rénovation Nationale (PRN). (more…)

Haiti: What’s left of the popular movement?

Thursday, February 20th, 2014


((Martelly and Duvalier))

((Martelly and Duvalier))

[Translation of an article from Haïti Liberté of Port-au-Prince for February 12, 2014.  See original here and related articles here, here, here, here and here.]

By Francklyn B. Geffrard

Last February 7 was the 28th anniversary of the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship.  Targeted by a popular revolt and abandoned by the Americans, Jean Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier and his associates had to flee the country early in the morning.  For close to three decades, François Duvalier (from 1957 to 1971), then his son Jean Claude (from 1971 to 1986), had ruled the country with an iron fist.  To facilitate the departure of Jean Claude Duvalier and his associates, a U.S. Air Force plane had been placed at their disposal by the administration of President Ronald Reagan.

During the long years that Haiti was ruled by the Duvaliers, the country faced serious economic, political and social crises.  Arbitrary arrests and assassinations carried out against thousands by the Tontons Macoutes sowed fear, in its most basic form, in the hearts of the people.  No opposition was tolerated.  Every opponent of the regime was condemned either to imprisonment in the regime’s numerous torture centers, to disappearance, pure and simple, or, for the lucky ones, to exile. This explains, furthermore, why it is outside the country that Haitian exiles tried to create a movement in opposition to the regime, which had enjoyed the unfailing support of France and the United States. (more…)

The case of Haiti brings to light weaknesses in Brazilian foreign policy

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

Despite the Defense Ministry’s favoring more involvement in peace missions, Brazil has proven to be unprepared to deal with the consequences

[Translation of an article from Carta Maior of São Paulo for October 17, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]

By João Fernando Finazzi

At the time of renewal for one more year of the mandate of the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH), which would have ended this week, Brazil remains in military command of the multilateral mission after more than nine years as the country with the most troops in Haitian territory. If there were reasonable arguments for its existence initially, its continuation is looked upon currently with ever more doubt.

Haitian activist Colette Lespinasse of the Groupement d’Appui aux Rapatriés et Réfugiés (GARR — Support Group for Repatriates and Refugees) believes the MINUSTAH intervention “makes no sense” once the goals expressed for its creation, like the restoration of order and the disarming of groups that threatened internal stability,were achieved. Lepinasse also points out that “given that direct occupation by a country like the United States was not possible,” the UN’s multilateralism made it possible for “emerging countries, like Brazil,” to take on that function. (more…)

Dominican Republic: Anti-Haitian marches a threat to peace on the island

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

wxyzz[Translation of an article from AlterPresse of Port-au-Prince for July 26, 2013. See original here and related articles here, here, here and here. The writer is an Anglican priest, a former Haitian diplomat in the Dominican Republic and, currently, director of the Fondation Zile.]

By Edwin Paraison

A year after a similar demonstration, a minority group made up of representatives of neighborhood groups organized an anti-Haitian march on July 17 in the second city of the Dominican Republic, Santiago de los Caballeros, which was widely covered in the mass media, with the slogan, “Nosotros aquí, ellos allá” (“This for us, that for them”). The purpose: to demand the repatriation of the undocumented and to denounce the organizations that come to their aid, notably the Centro de Formación y Acción Social y Agraria (CEFASA) and the Centro Bono, both Catholic [Jesuit] NGOs. (more…)

Dominican Republic: Court rules in favor of Haitian coconut workers

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

coqueros x[Translation of an article from El Nuevo Diario of Santo Domingo for June 14, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]

By Jenny Ramírez

Haina – The group of Haitian workers who spent more than 40 days on the walkway in front of the ministry of labor to demand that the Empacadora Real coconut company pay them the money they had earned were awarded more than five million pesos [about US$120,000] when their case was settled on Friday in a district court in the province of San Cristóbal.

The Haitian nationals accepted the money from lawyers Lucas Manuel and Carlos Manuel Sánchez Diaz, who were responsible for taking the case to court and winning the ruling in favor of the foreigners.

The lawyers stated that the coconut merchant, Emilio Luna, alias “Billo,” reached an agreement with the plaintiffs in the labor court of the judicial district of San Cristóbal.

According to the defense, a fair distribution of the money to the workers was carried out, based on the time each had spent with the coconut company, it being decided that those who had worked the longest would receive the most money.

Spokesmen for the group of Haitians, Francisco Ojilú and Ratilú Odani, thanked all those who became involved in their effort, especially lawyers Lucas and Carlos Sánchez Diaz…

The lawyers stated that the ruling sets a precedent in labor rights for the national judicial system since no similar case is known.

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Haiti: Two years of catastrophic politics

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Haitian  presidential candidate Michel M[Translation of an article from Haïti-Liberté for May 18, 2013. See original here.]

By Isabelle L. Papillon

May 14, 2013, is the second anniversary of the inauguration of President Michel Joseph Martelly as head of the country. This second anniversary is marked by catastrophe on political, economic and social levels. The situation of degradation moves inhabitants of poor neighborhoods to demonstrate in the streets of the capital to denounce the drift of tètkale-kaletèt Martelly-Lamothe rule.

Hundreds of people took to the streets at the call of the Mouvement de Liberté, d’Égalité et de la Fraternité des Haïtiens, the Parlement Populaire Haïtien and the Union Nationale des Normaliens d’Haïti to protest against the  tètkale regime, which has done nothing but increase the misery of the masses, the hunger, the unemployment. The demonstrators criticized the so-called priorities of the tètkale authorities, which rest on the “4-Es”: education, the rule of law (l’état de droit) employment and energy. According to the protesters, these priorities are so far nothing but words. Each of the organizations gave press conferences on Monday, May 13, to make an assessment of the government. The government’s tally is completely negative, according to the organizers. (more…)

“In Haiti, Brazil is just a puppet,” Haitian senator declares

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Tropas_brasileiras-Marcello-Casal-Jr_After almost nine years in the country, MINUSTAH prolongs conditions of poverty and repression, securing the political and economic interests of the United States

[Translation of an interview from Brasil de Fato of São Paulo for May 9, 2013.  See original here and related articles here, here, here and here.]

By Márcio Zonta

The United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH) will be nine years old in June.  Created in 2004 by the UN Security Council, it brought the activities of foreign troops into the country after the coup against then President Bertrand Aristide.  He was kidnapped and deposed by United States forces, being forced into exile in Africa. (more…)

Haitian migrants in South America: A hardening of migration policies

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

[Translation of an article from AlterPresse of Port-au-Prince for April 12, 2013. See original here. The writer is communications coordinator for the Jesuit Refugee Service for Latin America and the Caribbean.]

By Wooldy Edson Louidor

Bogota, Colombia, April 12 – Several South American governments are showing a clear tendency toward a hardening of their migration policies in regard to Haitian migrants who reach their border or are already in their territory.

From Ecuador to French Guiana (an overseas territory of France), Haitian migrants face an ever more complex series of difficult situations like the closing of borders, threats of deportation, increases in requirements for entering their territories and humanitarian crises. (more…)

Dominican Republic: Is the government promoting illegality among Haitian immigrants?

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

x refugees[Translation of an article from Espacinsular of Santo Domingo for April 10, 2013. See original here.]

by Griselda Liberato

Santo Domingo, April 10 – Although it is not state policy, events suggest that government agencies are supporting violations of the migration laws. Taking into account the legal mechanisms the country has for the control and registration of immigration and reviewing the repeated occasions in which Haitians have charged that authorities do not process applications for documents or for renewal of them, it can be confirmed that the state carries out policies that increase the percentage of persons living in Dominican territory indefinitely under irregular conditions. (more…)

“Little Haiti”: Chilean city attracts recent wave of Haitian immigration

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Stories of trafficking of immigrants are common in Quilicura, home of the largest Haitian community in the country

[Translation of an article from Opera Mundi of São Paulo, Brazil, for March 2, 2013. See original here.]

By Víctor Farinelli

Fewer than 20 ten years ago, Haitians now number almost 4,000 in Chile as a whole. The majority come through the Dominican Republic, drawn by promises of jobs and prosperity, but are then abandoned to their own fate in a country with a cold climate and a scant welcome for new inhabitants.

Between 2009 and 2011, 2,600 new Haitians came into the South American country, compared with the little more than 700 who left. In 2011 alone, of the 1,369 who arrived, 1,056 managed to stay in Andean lands.

There are many reasons for the phenomenon, but one of the main ones is the work of immigrant trafficking gangs. Although many Haitians who live in South America have passed through countries like Peru, Argentina and Brazil, the bulk of the flow into Chile comes directly through the Dominican Republic. There are at least two gangs operating there who take them directly to Santiago. (more…)