Local July 17, 2013 | 1:35 pm

Dominicans again protest against undocumented Haitians

Santiago, Dominican Republic. – Chanting "Them (Haitians) over there and we here," dozens of people marched in Santiago against the presence of undocumented Haitians in the Cibao (north) region.

The march which started in Duarte Park and ended several kilometers away, where protesters affirmed that, "we Dominicans need our space."

Speaking for the protesters, Angelita Villaman asked the government to enforce the law and remove the Haitians living illegally in Dominican territory.

Citing studies, Villaman said 85% of the workers in Santiago’s construction sector is Haitian and 90% in agriculture, which in her view violates the Labor Code.

She also affirmed that Santiago hospitals spend 40% of their resources in attending Haitians.

For his part, the intellectual Cabral de la Torre accused some NGOs of protecting undocumented Haitians and of discrediting Dominican Republic abroad with false accusations of mistreatment and repatriations.

The protesters announced a rally at the Altar de la Patria, downtown Santo Domingo next month, to demand that the authorities enforce immigration laws.

Soldiers and Police agents closely watched the march, which included delegations from San Jose de Ocoa, Santo Domingo, Espaillat, La Vega, Dajabón, Puerto Plata, Valverde, Montecristi and Santiago provinces.

It’s the third time in in as many years that Santiago groups gather to protest the presence of undocumented Haitians.

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