Killing of Dominican women allegedly by Haitians unleashed revenge
SAN JUAN. - Civil rights organizations denounced acts of violence against the Haitian-Dominican community, which since last May 9 have produced murders, aggressions and mass deportations in the border between Dominican Republic and Haiti.
At least 4,000 people of Haitian descent were deported in three days by the Dominican authorities, according to Hilda Guerrero, of the Dominican-Haitian Pro-Childhood Committee.
She said in a press conference that the incidents of violence increased after the death of a Dominican citizen, presumably assassinated by a group of Haitians, in Hatillo Palma (in the country’s northwest) that unleashed the wrath of the neighbors and forced the immigrants to flee the town.
"The Dominican authorities began to arbitrarily and indiscriminately expel people born in the Dominican Republic despite having the required legal documentation... the immigration officials burst into the homes, broke down the doors, and while they detain the Haitians, groups of people sack and rob their meager belongings," she said.
Guerrero added that the main victims of this "wave of terror" are women, children and adolescents.
The cases of expulsion and aggression have occurred in several northern regions such as the Santiago and Valverde provinces and Enriquillo, in the southern Barhaona province.
She told of many Dominican-born children of Haitian parents which have been deported without their parents and of the forced exit of Haitian immigrants whom have had to leave their children behind.
Guerrero stated that there are several organizations in Haiti who have received the refugees and have lodged them in a church.
For their part, Saúl Perez, of the Dominican Committee for Human Rights, and Tesius Belford, of the Solidarity with Haiti Committee, protested to the Dominican president Leonel Fernandez, who in their view should "take responsibility" and stop the violent incidents and repatriations.
In the Hatillo Palma incident, Maritza Nuñez was killed and her husband seriously injured by an alleged gang of Haitians which committed the murder during a robbery in the couple’s grocery store.