Clashes between Dominicans and Haitians nothing new
Santo Domingo.- Scuffles and confrontations between Dominicans and Haitians who live in the country legally or not are neither recent nor chance cases.
The clashes have left dozens dead, hundreds injured and dozens of houses set afire.
The recent and most frequent cases occur as the tide of Haitian immigration swells, which in turn stokes friction in the already overcrowded barrios of the country’s major cities.
Residents of affected barrios have reacted to the situation, even with warnings to the authorities, sometimes by taking the law in their own hands by expelling by force the Haitians considered invaders of their neighborhoods.
Other elements leading to clashes are the many burglaries and holdups blamed on the Haitians.
One of the most tragic incidents occurred December 6, 2005, when a group of Dominicans killed a Haitian and torched at least 35 houses in the community
El Encantado, in northwest Montecristi province,
The locals acted in reprisal after the Dominican Apolinar Lopez, who loaned money to Haitian workers, was murdered by an immigrant.
The killings led to the organization of neighborhood boards there and in other adjacent communities, followed by town meetings to demand that the authorities remove the Haitians from their sectors.
The houses burned, according to the reports, were reduced to ashes with all the belongings of the Haitians.
On November 6, 2005, in the town Ponton, La Vega province (central), a group of Haitians stabbed three women of that community, which ignited the rejection and a demand by the citizens that the authorities deport the aggressors to their country. The Haitians stabbed the women, stole their belongings and tried to rape them.
On January 30, 2006, a crowd of Dominicans wielding clubs and machetes chased away dozens of Haitians who worked in farms near the town Mount de la Jagua, northeastern Espaillat province, in reprisal for the alleged rape of a four year old Dominican girl.