Local March 17, 2015 | 4:02 pm

Dominican Republic says fake videos stoke tension with Haitians

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Foreign minister Andrés Navarro on Tuesday said people he didn’t identify upload fake videos of alleged attacks on Haitians to stoke tension between Haitian immigrants and his country.

During a visit to the border town of Dajabón 380 kilometers northwest of the capital the official stressed that there’s no policy of discrimination against immigrants from neighboring Haiti in Dominican Republic, as some civic groups in the country claim.

The diplomat’s statements come just one week after civil groups held mass protests in Port-au-Prince and other Haiti cities to denounce alleged human rights violations against Haitian immigrants in Dominican Republic.

He also said videos on the Web depict a man allegedly Haitian, purportedly beaten by a group of Dominicans. "It was outrageous to see videos of people beating and torturing another and putting titles such as `Dominicans kill Haitians.”

He stressed that in the video, "these groups don’t speak Spanish, they speak Portuguese."

The demonstrations, which strained relations between the two countries emerged after a Haitian was found hanged from a tree, his hands and feet bound, in a park in the Dominican city of Santiago.

Navarro said the investigation has determined that the two main suspects, who are fugitives, are Haitians.

Because of the sometimes violent demonstrations, the Dominican government closed its four consulates in Haiti on March 4. Navarro and Haiti counterpart Duly Brutus met Friday at the border town of Jimaní, where the Haitian government agreed to beef up security at consulates so they could reopen the week after.

In addition to providing security to the consulates and trucks entering from Dominican Republic to Haitian territory, Brutus announced a radio campaign to discourage attacks against Dominicans living in Haiti or crossing the border for business.

Relations between the Hispaniola neighbors remain strained since 2013, when the Constitutional Court ordered the Dominican Government to open individual trials to annul the nationality of the offspring of undocumented foreign parents, the vast majority of Haitian descent.

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