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#1615: News digest about Haiti in Dominican press (fwd)


[The latest news, not yet reported in the press but confirmed by political 
activists in the DR, is that the deportations have resumed, business as 
usual, after a brief lull around Christmas.  The report is that dozens, 
perhaps hundreds, of people were rounded up at different points and deported 
the same day (yesterday, 12/28/99), without the legal niceties about due 
process agreed on by the two governments.  P.S. The news digest below 
compiled from DR1 should be read critically!  Just because it is printed 
doesn't mean it is so.]

Colombians plant drugs in Haiti near DR border  
Tuesday, 28 December 1999.  The Listín Diario reports today that hundreds of 
Colombians have installed themselves in impoverished frontier towns in Haiti 
where they are planting marihuana to be shipped to the DR. The newspaper says 
that the money for the drug transactions that is pouring into Haiti is 
apparent in the more comfortable dwellings that are going up in impoverished 
areas along the frontier that contrast with the huts of indigent Haitians. 
This situation has placed a red alert among Dominican military that seek to 
impede that drug traffickers take a hold of the frontier. The DR frontier 
with Haiti is 378 kilometers from Pedernales to Monte Cristi. More than 300 
military have been stationed in 68 booths in strategic points considered the 
most vulnerable for the trafficking of weapons and drugs into Dominican 
territory. News reports say that some 15,000 marihuana trees were confiscated 
in the first days of the frontier operation unfolded by the newly created 
Destacamentos Operacionales de Inteligencia Fronteriza. These are located in 
Elias Piña, Dajabón, Pedernales, Independencia, Comendador and Bahoruco. The 
marihuana bushes were planted among potato, onion, vegetable and legume 
General Brigade Gustavo A. Jorge García commands the 24 hour activities. He 
operates in coordination with the national drug control department, the 
department of migration, the Dominican military and the Ministry of Foreign 
      [read the entire article in Listin Diario at: 

ONGs pay US$1,500 to Haitians to give birth in DR
Thursday, 14 October 1999.   The legal consultant of the Executive Branch, 
Dr. Abel Rodríguez del Orbe denounced that there are non-governmental 
organizations that pay US$1,000-US$1,500 for Haitian women to give birth 
here. The press note says that the moneys are being paid to Dominican 
physicians and clinics that assist the women in the labor. He said the object 
is that the children of Haitians be given Dominican birth certificates. 
Rodríguez del Orbe said that this will create an "explosion of incalculable 
consequences in 20 to 25 years". He said that even when these persons may 
have Dominican birth certificates, they will be brought up as Haitians, not 
Dominicans, as both cultures are very different. He commented that the 
persons will grow up in Haiti, and one day will come to the DR saying they 
are Dominicans. 
"If necessary, for humanitarian reasons, the women that live near the 
frontier may give birth here, if we can provide the service, we agree to that 
but to nationalize as Dominicans, persons that are not Dominicans, is a 
He said it is the Haitian consulate that has the responsibility of providing 
the birth certificates to the Haitians that are born in Dominican territory. 
The Dominican constitution does not regard persons born of illegal parents as 
The controversy arose when Father Luis Rosario of the Pastoral Juvenil of the 
Catholic Church requested that Congress consider legislating so that all 
those born in the DR may receive Dominican nationality. The Catholic Church 
hierarchy later denied that the request of Father Rosaro was that of the 
Dominican Catholic Church. Local authorities recognize that the children of 
Haitians have a problem when registering in school or at the time of 
graduating. The Haitian Embassy in the DR has been contributing by assisting 
thousands of Haitians that entered the DR without any legal documentation, to 
get their Haitian nationality papers. 
Supreme Court president Jorge Subero Isa reaffirmed recently that the 
Constitution is clear on the issue when it states that the Dominican 
nationality will be given to: "All persons born in the Dominican territory, 
with the exception of the legitimate sons of foreign diplomats and those that 
are in transit." The illegal Haitian residents are considered "in transit" 
and thus do not merit Dominican nationality. The Haitian Constitution, in 
turn, recognizes through the third generation sons and daughters of Haitians, 
regardless of whether they are born abroad or of one foreign parent. 

Catholic Church denies request to nationalize Haitian children 
Monday, 11 October 1999.  The Conferencia del Episcopado Dominicano, the 
ruling body of the Roman Catholic Church in the DR, denied it was behind the 
request of Pastoral Juvenil Catholic Church group that requested the 
Dominican government give Dominican birth certificates to hundreds of 
Haitians that are born in the DR to Haitian parents, most of which do not 
have birth certificates themselves and live in extreme poverty in the DR. 
Monsignor Francisco José Arnaiz, secretary general of the Episcopado, and 
spokesman for the religious group said that in 1996 the Dominican and Haitian 
Catholic churches established a joint position on the issue when in a joint 
declaration on 12 October 1996 they stated: "We are concerned that so many 
people lack an ID document, as having one in today's modern world is a 
fundamental right. We make an urgent call to governments of both countries so 
that to each it be demanded that they facilitate the procuring of the 
The church spokesman said they maintain the same position. In the opinion of 
the Church, it is evident that one has to distinguish between the case of 
Dominican children and the case of the children born to Haitians that are 
illegal residents. He said that the cases need to be resolved following the 
legislation of each nation. 
The Dominican Constitution does not grant Dominican nationality to the 
children born of Haitian parents. If one of the parents is a Dominican, than 
the child can acquire the nationality of the mother, but extensive paperwork 
has to be completed. The Haitian Constitution recognizes the children of 
Haitians as Haitians down to the third generation, regardless of where they 
are born. 
Monsignor Arnaiz clarified that the position of the Pastoral Juvenil, spurred 
by Padre Luis Rosario, is not that of the Catholic Church. He denied that 
Cardinal Nicolás López Rodríguez had placed a calling to urge National 
Congress act on the matter, as reported in the Dominican press and picked up 
by this daily news service. 

DR and Haiti advance on bilateral talks
Monday, 11 October 1999.   Negotiators for the Dominican and Haitian 
governments made important advances during the most recent round of bilateral 
talks. The fourth round of meetings of the Bilateral Commission ended in 
Santo Domingo on Friday. Minister of Foreign Relations of Haiti Fritz 
Longchamp told the press that he is pleased with the progress. On Friday, 
agreements to deal with vandalism, drug trafficking and contraband along the 
frontier lines were signed. There were also advances on agreements regarding 
farming, education, culture, health, sports and tourism. The most difficult 
issue of all is that of migration, but Longchamps said that far from 
discouraging them, they are stimulated to double efforts to resolve this 
rapidly. The parties agreed to meet every six months until an agreement is 
reached. He called out for increasing joint efforts to confront poverty in 
both countries at the start of a new century, in these days of a modern 
dependent and solidarian world. He said they would be giving priority to 
continuing the talks and concertation. He announced that completion of the 
agreements for the protection and promotion of reciprocal investments, sports 
cooperation, and youth cooperation. 
Major progress was made on the agreement regarding the circulation of 
vehicles through the frontier, restitution of stolen or retained vehicles, 
with a timetable set for three months to complete it. 
The parties agreed to continue working on a tourism cooperation agreement to 
promote the development of a hotel industry in Haiti, train personnel, and 
exchange experiences. This will be a joint effort of the local association of 
hotels (Asonahores) and the Tourism Association of Haiti. 
The countries will increase cultural and educational activities, and progress 
was made towards the installing of a Dominican culture house in Port au 
Prince and a Haitian culture house in Santo Domingo. The parties agreed on 
preparing a compilation of Haitian and Dominican authors. 
Discussions also advanced on environmental issues, focusing on biodiversity, 
and the struggle to confront the turning of the land into a desert. Haiti 
committed to complete the draft of the plan for the managing of the 
borderline Artibonito River so that cooperation can be secured from 
international organizations. Likewise, the parties agreed to work together 
for the creation of a bi-national fund for the conservation of the 
environment, with emphasis on marine-coastal areas and frontier areas. 
Both parties agreed to increase sanitary control programs, seek financing for 
swine cholera eradication program, and modernizing of the farm sanitation 
programs, as well as farm plague controls. 
Other joint projects focus on frontier infrastructure, bilateral trade talks. 

Indigent Haitians burden frontier hospital finances
Tue Tuesday, 7 September 1999.   El Siglo newspaper reports that public 
hospitals in the frontier provinces spend 50% of their resources on servicing 
Haitian patients. For humanitarian reasons, public hospitals located from 
Pedernales to Monte Cristi, along the frontier, offer emergency services to 
Haitians. El Siglo reports that most of the cases they see are births, 
tuberculosis, AIDS, malaria, injuries, malnutrition, diarrhea and respiratory 
infections. The public hospitals have to finance the transportation of the 
sick Haitians back to Haiti or to regional hospitals within the DR. Minister 
of Public Health Juan Octavio Ceballos recognizes the problem, but said that 
the authorities do not have a solution.