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. 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…)