The Dominican Republic does not restrict its assaults on Haitians and its Haitian descended citizens. Its military feels free to enter Haiti itself and to commit killings there.
Haiti has been a consistent subject for the western media the past year, with their unsurprising focus on “gang violence” as opposed to the country’s ongoing crisis of imperialism caused by the U.S. and its minions. However, very little has been written about the growing genocidal treatment of Haitian migrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic.
Because of European colonialism and the legacy of slavery, Haiti and the Dominican Republic share an island and a history that has been marred by anti-Blackness, genocide, and U.S. imperialism. Anti-Blackness (often articulated through anti-Haitianness) in the Dominican Republic is well-documented. A major result of this anti-Haitianism was the 1937 Parsely Massacre where Dominican dictator, Rafael Trujillo, ordered the massacre of more than 30,000 Haitians. Another is the 2014 law passed by the Dominican government that denationalized a quarter of a million Dominicans of Haitian descent, rendering them stateless.
But most alarming has been the hysterical anti-Haitianism of the current Dominican president, Luis Abinader. Blaming all of the country’s problems on the tiny Haitian migrant community and the communities of Dominicans of Haitian descent, Abinader’s government has been rabidly hostile and racist towards those communities, and even Haiti as a country, requesting foreign military intervention in Haiti and carrying out massive human rights violations through illegal collective deportations of Haitian migrants. Some have even likened him to Trujillo: “The government of President Luis Abinader…has become one of the governments that has treated the Haitian people and the Dominican community of Haitian descent with the most hostility, after the Trujillo and Balaguer dictatorships.”
While the western media has generally been silent on this ongoing saga of racism and the denial of human rights to Haitian people, Black Agenda Report has been consistently covering this issue over the past year. See, for example, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. We are grateful for the collaboration with the comrades at the Movimiento Socialista de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores de la República Dominicana (Socialist Workers Movement of the Dominican Republic).
Below is a continuation of the coverage. We stand with Haiti.
Originally published in Movement of Socialist Workers of the Dominican Republic.
We Demand Jail for Dominican Military Members Responsible for Tilory Massacre
Press reports indicate that on Sunday, March 19, the Dominican military attacked the Haitian town of Tilory, on the border near the province of Dajabón, killing two people and wounding an undetermined number. The incident was allegedly originated by the abuses committed by the repressive forces in the area against Haitian citizens, including arbitrary detentions and theft of money. Tilory is located on an international road and is home to a small binational market.
In the face of systematic abuses by the Dominican military, a protest was initiated, including the seizure of a motorcycle. Press reports indicate that in response to this protest, the military launched an attack on the Haitian town. Those killed were identified as Guerrier Kiki and Joseph Irano. This attack, in open violation of Dominican and international laws, against unarmed civilians, who tried to defend themselves by throwing stones, is added to other attacks such as the one perpetrated on August 5 last year, when the military fired on Anse-A-Pitres after a customs agent killed the young Immercher Theoly Vilasky at a border crossing.
These crimes are perpetrated in the midst of the Abinader government's policy of demanding an international military intervention against Haiti, carrying out massive human rights violations and collective expulsions against the Haitian immigrant community, and promoting a Penal Code project which would include the creation of a military jurisdiction to exempt the military from civil jurisdiction in some cases.
On the same March 19, almost simultaneously with the Tilory massacre, President Abinader led a civic-military parade in Azua to commemorate a military confrontation which occurred in 1844 between Dominicans and Haitians. On the same day, in Nueva Jerusalén, Santo Domingo East, the military carried out an arbitrary eviction, injuring several people, one of them seriously, showing that the repressive climate is not only worsening for the Haitian immigrant community but also for the Dominican people.
- An independent investigation into the Tilory massacre, maximum legal punishment for those responsible, reparations to the victims and an official apology from the government.
- An end to arbitrary detentions, theft of money, motorcycles and other property by the military in the border zone.
- That military jurisdiction be removed from the draft Penal Code to prevent the strengthening of impunity.
- Stop the militarization of Dominican society: No to the increase in military spending, no to the use of the military to control public order and evictions, no to military participation in immigration interdiction processes, no to the border fence with secret military spending, no to the use of the repressive doctrine of national security to stigmatize the Haitian immigrant community as an enemy and a threat to sovereignty.
Socialist Workers Movement (MST)
National Popular Coordination
Groupe d'Appui aux Rapatriés et Refugiés (GARR)
Socio-Political Women Mama Tingó
Revolutionary Socialist Militancy (MRS)
Junta de Prietas
Sociocultural Movement for Haitian Workers (MOSCTHA)
Organized Sugar Cane Workers
Socialist Movement of Workers of the Dominican Republic: "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."