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At least five Haitians killed, nearly 700 repatriations from Dominican Republic after violent incidents
Published on November 29, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Joseph Guyler Delva

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) -- At least five Haitians were killed and nearly 700 repatriated over the past few days, following the killing of an elderly Dominican couple in the town of Neyba, in the neighbouring Dominican Republic, where Haitians, blamed for the double murder, have been terrorized and chased.

According to a Haitian Repatriates and Refugee Support Group (GARR), at least five Haitians were killed in reprisal for the murder last Friday of José Mendez and his wife Luja Encarnacion Diaz, near the district of Neyba, and several hundred more, fleeing for their lives, had to take refuge in a military base and police stations.

"After talking to several eye witnesses, we can confirm that at least five Haitians were killed in Neyba after the incidents," Jean-Baptiste Azolin, the deputy coordinator for GARR, told HCNN on Wednesday.

"Four other Haitians are also reported murdered but we have not been able to gather enough testimonies which tally to confirm the information," Azolin said.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, the Dominican embassy in Haiti said only one Haitian, known as Andres "Coito" Pierre, was killed by a group of people (Dominicans) who had accused him of committing the crime against the elderly couple.

However, testimonies from deportees, such as a lady who said she saw with her own eyes her husband being killed before she could flee or those who said they were forced to bury two Haitians or another one who confirmed the killing of his cousin he identified as Joel Jolly, suggest the contrary.

"You will understand that Dominican authorities are trying to hide the information in order to minimize the gravity of the problem," said Azolin, whose organization is in the forefront of the fight to defend the rights of Haitian deportees from the Dominican Republic.

Repatriations: A humanitarian crisis

Refugee rights activists called the massive repatriations of the past days a humanitarian crisis that should capture international attention.

Coordinator for the GAAR group, Colette Lespinasse
The coordinator for the GAAR group, Colette Lespinasse, denounced on Wednesday the inhumane conditions that characterize the hundreds of deportations that took place over the past four days.

"Imagine a mother who has just had a caesarean and who had to run for her life to seek protection at a military facility, but only to face deportation with a three-day-old baby in her arms," Lespinasse told HCNN.

"And you imagine that no one is there on the border to welcome her because nobody was informed that she was going to be deported," said Lespinasse. "This is cruel and this is a real humanitarian crisis that should capture international attention," she said.

Lespinasse said "mothers and children were in a very bad shape, some were dehydrated and they could find no food or other support they needed because of the conditions in which they were deported." Many had to leave all their belongings behind.

Several women with newborns were repatriated and a one-year-old child, who had some complications, almost died if not taken in time to a hospital, according to the director of the National Office on Migration (ONM), Stern Lolo.

At least 689 Haitian workers and family members were repatriated to Haiti in only four days, according to the GARR group that works very closely with repatriates, but only 464 went through the official registration process held by ONM, according to Lolo.

"We received 252 on November 23, 98 on November 24 and 114 on November 26 that add up to 464, including 183 children," said Lolo who complained that Dominican authorities never informed them of the deportations.

"They never gave us any advance notice so that we may make preparations to welcome our fellow Haitians and this is unfortunate," Lolo, the head of the government migration agency, told HCNN. "But we have some informants on the border that tell us of any arrival and we immediately rush there to receive them," he said.

Dominican authorities claim they did not intend to do any massive deportations but Haitians who feared reprisals had asked security forces to accompany them to the Jimany-Malpasse border to come back home, a version that is challenged by several repatriates.

The ONM housed deportees in a special shelter and gave most of them a small amount of money to go to their home villages.
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Jocelyne Palant:

Dominican Republic has been discriminating against Haitian living on their soil for a long time and if we remember this is not the first time they have assassinated Haitian in Dominican Republic. These people live without any protection of the law, and in awful condition. You will tell me it was not any better in Haiti for them, however they are of tremendous labor force for the development of Santo Domingo. I have seen first hand Haitian working in building those beautiful streets, hotels and various construction from what I was told less than the regular wage, for the benefits of tourism in Santo Domingo, sugar cane and other agricultural products that benefits their economy. Haiti spends considerable amount of money from buying goods of all sorts from Santo Domingo, they need to remember that we are players in their economy as well. Haitian there have given a lot to Santo Domingo in exchange for not so much since they couldn't get that not so much at home they, like immigrants on any other countries worked hard to fend for themselves and create some kind of secure financial means to feed their families. I glad to read Pres. Martelly stands on human rights and pressuring Santo Domingo for taking a different stand on human rights of the Haitians in their country. Maybe we need to start an International petition to the United Nations and the International communities in support of President Martelly's efforts to prevent another genocide of our brothers and sisters in Santo Domingo. Its time to take non violent actions and a stand as the First Black Free Republic of the world and set an unprecedented movement in the Caribbean from the people, for the people since we have the determination of our president to act on this platform of human rights and by the same token restoring faith in our Nation and within our Nation

Jocelyne Palant


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