Protest in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. (Photo: Manuel Diaz / Associated Press)
Violence against Haitians and Haitian descended people continues in the Dominican Republic. The Socialist Movement of Workers of the Dominican Republic condemn the latest state sanctioned killing.
Statement originally published in the Movement of Socialist Workers of the Dominican Republic.
On the morning of February 10, while arriving at their workplace aboard a bus in Cap Cana, La Altagracia Province, dozens of Haitian construction workers were attacked by agents of the General Directorate of Migration (DGM), who chased them to Gate 17. When the bus stopped, some workers were arbitrarily detained, while others tried to evade their pursuers. The repressive agents shot at the workers, who threw stones to defend themselves.
According to denunciations by human rights activists in the region, the DGM constantly carries out raids without warrants against Haitian workers in this tourist and real estate development center, built almost entirely by immigrant labor. On February 9, the agents allegedly attacked the community of Los Cuatro Caminos in El Seibo, carrying out arbitrary raids, stealing and arrests. It is reported that in this case the construction company owed wages to the workers since December and could be complicit in the DGM's actions to evade payment. An alliance between businessmen and immigration authorities that has been denounced for many years, both in construction and in other industries.
Numerous videos show the disproportionate use of firearms by the repressors. The worker killed was Jean Modes Fontas, 37, while worker Stanjunior Saurin, 36, was shot in the arm. Unconfirmed versions suggest that two workers were killed. Police reinforcements from Veron, Higuey and other localities were deployed to crush the protest. The national media disseminated false news to incite racial hatred, speaking of an alleged "uprising" of "two thousand Haitians", thus trying to legitimize the brutal repression implemented by the government.
The DGM announced the deportation of 71 workers and the criminalization of seven workers for alleged disturbance of order and violations of the migration law. The Attorney General's Office should not allow the deportation of people who have been victims and witnesses of a criminal action by the DGM that culminated with at least one person killed and several injured. We demand the release of the detained workers and denounce that the deportations are an attempt to hinder the investigation of the repression in order to guarantee impunity. We demand judicial guarantees and protection for all the workers so that they can give their testimony in a judicial process against the murderous agents.
We recall that the Dominican State has already been condemned by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for the Guayubín Massacre, perpetrated by the military in 2000, when they chased and shot at a truck carrying Haitian people, killing seven. The perpetrators of the crime were subsequently protected by the authorities. The repression in Cap Cana is also reminiscent of the recent attack against construction workers in Ciudad Juan Bosch in May 2022, when ten workers were wounded, several of them with live ammo, by police and immigration agents.
The Abinader government boasts of having carried out massive deportations affecting more than 154,000 people in 2022, almost exclusively Haitians. To execute this policy, the government systematically violates Dominican laws. Arbitrary arrests, robberies, extortion, detention in overcrowded and unsanitary centers, expulsion of children separated from their families and pregnant women, are part of the daily life of Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent, as a result of this government policy. The criminal actions of human trafficking mafias linked to the police, military and the DGM are also proliferating.
We demand that the Abinader government cease these brutal attacks on the rights and dignity of Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent and put an end to its racist campaign of mass deportations. We also demand respect for immigrant workers' rights to organize in unions.
We must mobilize against these State crimes that aim to consolidate an apartheid regime that systematically oppresses and discriminates on the basis of a racial classification of the population. We call for international solidarity from social, human rights, trade union and other organizations fighting against racial discrimination and apartheid.
Trial and punishment for the murderers of Cap Cana!
Stop Abinader's policy of racist and anti-worker persecution!
National Popular Coordinating Committee
Socialist Workers Movement (MST)
Movement of Haitian-Dominican Women (MUDHA)
Committee for the Unity and Rights of Women (CUDEM)
Mamá Tingó Socio-Political Women
Batey Los Jovillos Youth Group
Union of Sugarcane Workers
Human Code Foundation
Intercultural Connection for Welfare and Autonomy La Ceiba
Junta de Prietas
Organized Sugar Cane Workers
Haitian International League
"We are a Dominican socialist organization that bets on the self-organization of the working class and its mobilization for the conquest of rights and the dispute of political power. We understand that the unity of workers is forged in the struggle against exploitation, racist and patriarchal oppression and against all forms of discrimination that we suffer in our country and the world. Faced with the irrational depredation of nature, we fight for a democratic planning that allows the environmental sustainability of the economy, the only alternative to the perspective of climate collapse to which the capitalist system leads us."