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1807: DOMINICAN COFFEE GROWERS IN NEED OF HAITIAN LABOR (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
Santo Domingo, Jan 10 (EFE) -- Dominican coffee growers in the Cibao
region have asked authorities to allow them to bring in workers from Haiti
to prevent the loss of 40 percent of this year's crop.
At the Annual Assembly of Villa Trina Coffee Growers, technicians and
owners expressed concern over their inability to harvest this year's crop,
characterized as "very good," because of a shortage of Haitian laborers in
the wake of government restrictions on immigration.
Dominican authorities in recent months have cracked down on what they
say is illegal Haitian immigration. Late last year, thousands of
immigrants were rounded up and forcibly returned to Haiti, which prompted
criticism of Dominican authorities by international human rights
Former Coffee Department Director Hector Jimenez said 80 percent of
coffee growers employ Haitian labor in harvesting, but recent massive
deportations of Haitians have thrown the sector into a crisis.
Jimenez said some coffee growers had been arrested or their goods
confiscated for having hired Haitians to work the harvest.
The growers had hoped to benefit from a bumper crop and from a rise in
the international price of coffee this year, but recent deportations of
Haitians may lead to a loss of 40 percent of the crop and widespread
bankruptcy in the sector.