Latest News

Recommendations for immediate action regarding repatriation of Haitiand from the Dominican Republic

By Observatoire Citoyen de L’Action des Pouvoirs Publics en Haiti (OCAPH), June 24, 2015

Observatoire Citoyen de L’Action des Pouvoirs Publics en Haiti (OCAPH), also known as Haiti Citizen Watchdog, continues to closely follow developments in Haitian-Dominican relations, most recently the plight of refugees who have crossed the border into Haiti and the possible eventual massive repatriation of Haitian citizens from the Dominican Republic.

To obtain first-hand information on current conditions, OCAPH officials recently conducted fact-gathering missions to refugee camps at two of the four chief land crossings to and from the Dominican Republic: on June 13 to Anse-a-Pitre and on June 20 to Malpasse. OCAPH’s finding: Despite notable efforts by several non-profit groups, lodging, sanitary conditions, and security are grossly inadequate.

1861: The first time Haiti boycotted the Dominican Republic

dominican republic boycott.jpg

By Samuel Maxime , Haiti Sentinel, June 24, 2015

17 years after seceding from Haiti, the Dominican government did something that brought about a boycott of their goods and services in Haiti. It was subtle, the way the old Haitian scholar will tell you, but it was still effective and necessary and, interestingly, for the D.R..

Haiti was the second country in the Western hemisphere and the first black republic and was the result of a slave uprising. The country had helped in campaigns throughout south America to drive out colonial rule and free the Americas. Decades after 1804, Quisqueya would still be threatened by French, British and Spanish warships in its bays.

Time to boycott the Dominican Republic over racist mass deportations

By Toula Drimonis, Ricochet, June 24, 2015

When Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz was recently in Montreal, I attended a public discussion with him. Predictably, before the evening was over, the celebrated Dominican American artist was asked to share his thoughts on the treatment of people of Haitian descent in his homeland.

Diaz has made no secret of how he feels about this issue. In 1999, way before the Dominican Republic’s imminent deportation of hundreds of thousands of these second-class citizens was making international headlines, he co-wrotea scathing op-ed for the New York Times with Haitian American novelist Edwidge Danticat. They criticized the “racially tinged political rhetoric that has given too many Dominicans the false perception that all their problems will disappear if only the Haitians will go away.”

In a 2013 ruling, the Dominican Republic's constitutional court took measures to strip the citizenship and rights of children born to Haitian immigrants in the country as far back as 1929. These are people who, for the most part, have lived their entire lives there and know nothing of Haiti, not even the language. At last count, the ruling affects an estimated 250,000 Dominican people of Haitian descent, and government officials have made it clear that they will start deportations within the coming weeks.

How History has been distorted to justify the Dominican deportations

By Anne Eller, Haiti Liberté, June 24, 2015

Over the past two years, a legal nightmare has grown in the Dominican Republic. Taking aim at Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent, the Dominican Constitutional Tribunal issued a ruling in September 2013, made retroactive more than eighty years, stripping citizenship from anyone who cannot prove “regular” residency for at least one parent. Legislation passed in May 2014 allows for a limited and incomplete path to naturalization for some; it amounts to “citizenship by fiat.” The rulings mark a drastic setback for as many as several hundred thousand residents of the Dominican Republic, threatening them with expulsion, statelessness, detention, and abuse. Individuals have already suffered the impact of the new laws. With the rulings, larger-scale detentions might begin, overseen by the Dominican armed forces and the UN, among other groups.

Lil Wayne and Chris Brown in Haiti: Another expensive Martelly spectacle sparks outrage

By Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, June 24, 2015

Around 100 A.D., the Roman poet Juvenal remarked that Rome, its empire rapidly declining, was suppressing revolt through “bread and circuses.” President Michel Martelly, during his four years in office, has borrowed the Roman tactic, except without the bread.

Martelly, who as the musician “Sweet Micky” often dubbed himself the “President of Konpa” in Haiti’s famous Lenten Carnival, has organized three carnivals a year during his time in office. But with Haiti now in a full-blown electoral crisis and bracing to receive thousands of deportees from the Dominican Republic, this year, his son Olivier has taken over, or at least that’s how it appears.

Stateless and now homeless: Despair on Haiti border

Dominican soldiers control access at the Haitian-Dominican border on June 20  2015 AFP Photo Hector Retamal.jpg

By Amelie Baron, Agence France-Press (AFP), June 21, 2015

 Mileyda Benacio is 19 years old, seven months pregnant and effectively stateless -- expelled from the Dominican Republic, the land of her birth, to neighboring Haiti.

Her T-shirt is tight across her burgeoning bump and she has little else to her name as she shelters at a Jesuit mission with the first victims of an immigration crackdown.

Benacio was born in the eastern half of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic, but her late parents hailed from the west, Haiti, and therein lies her problem.

With Lamothe, Zenny, Mayard-Paul, and Sophia out of the running: Can Martelly’s elections now be trusted?

By Thomas Péralte, Haiti Liberté, June 17, 2015

Former Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, previously considered the preferred candidate of both Haitian President Michel Martelly and Washington, was among the 12 presidential contenders disqualified by Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) last week, creating a surge of excitement and optimism among many Haitian voters who had been skeptical of the polling scheduled for August, October, and December.