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7122: Crackdown on Haitians in the DR (fwd)

  Crackdown by the Dominican Army
  on Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian Descent

  Press Bulletin of GARR
  as published in Haïti Progrès, Feb. 21, 2001
  (Translated from French)

  The Dominican Army has stepped up its arrests and
  deportations of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian ancestry
  since February 7, 2001, according to Father Pedro Ruquoy,
  spokesperson for the Haitian Pastors in the Bateys in the

  ?At the very moment that Mr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide was
  taking the oath of office as the new president of Haiti,
  Dominican authorities unleashed a wave of arrests followed
  by deportations,? said Father Ruquoy in a text published on
  February 18. This operation affected primarily Haitian
  merchants at the municipal market as well as residents of
  the ?La Montanita? and ?Miramar? neighborhoods of the
  central  batey of Barahona.  Described by all witnesses as
  ?violent and brutal,? the round-up began at 11:00 a.m. at
  the market and at 5:00 p.m. at the central batey on February

  On February 15, dozens of police officers swarmed into the
  Barahona marketplace and arrested 150 dark-skinned people,
  tying them up in twos with their own clothing and taking
  them to the town barracks, said Ruquoy. The people arrested
  lost their merchandise and/or the things they had bought.

  To stress the brutality of the deportations, Father Ruquoy
  noted that in Barahona, a certain Frantzie Volcy was
  savagely beaten and had her clothes torn because, as she was
  being arrested, she declared that she could produce a
  passport with a valid visa. This utterance unleashed the
  rain of insults and blows which she endured. As for Carline
  Pierre, who also had a valid visa, she wasn?t even allowed
  to put on her sandals.

  These arrests aroused great anger in the 18 agricultural
  bateys of the Barahona factory, home to mainly Dominicans of
  Haitian ancestry. Alarmed by the growing proportions of the
  problem, the Diocese team of the Haitian Pastors met with
  Father Smith Milien of the Episcopal Church to examine the

  According to Father Milien, who had spoken with Edwin
  Paraison, the Haitian Consul in Barahona, Haitian diplomatic
  authorities in the Dominican Republic received no list of
  deportees nor any communiqué about the operations, as
  stipulated by the December 1999 accords signed by
  authorities of the two countries.

  Port-au-Prince, Feb. 19, 2001
  Authenticated by Collette Lespinasse

(The Haiti Support Network is organizing an investigative delegation
to visit the bateys in the Dominican Republic in early April.
Contributions to this effort can be sent to: Haiti Support Network c/o
International Action Center, 39 West 14th Street, New York, NY 10011.
Or to learn more, contact delegation coordinators Ray Laforest at
212-219-0022 x. 113 or Kim Ives at 718-434-8100.)