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#3491: latest DR/HT news (fwd)

From: Yacine Khelladi <yacine@aacr.net>

Re: DR1 Daily News - Tuesday, 2 May 2000
> 7. Blow to gun and drug trafficking operation
> The Dominican government awaits the extradition from Aruba of Johan Hendry August Wilkemans, a Haitian porting a Belgian passport. News reports say that the local Drug Control Department was on the trail of Wilkemans after Haitian Jean Marck, alias Mario Antonio Duran, was arrested following a car chase in Santo Domingo. Jean Marck had on him 31 kilos of cocaine. His capture lead to the discovery, in cooperation with Haitian and US drug control authorities of a clandestine warehouse where weapons, sophisticated satellite communications equipment, and purchase orders for 200 M16 rifles and 200 guns were located in Port au Prince, Haiti. Wilkemans was described as a key figure in a powerful arms and drugs dealing operation.
> The DR and Haiti are part of the Colombia-Haiti-DR-Puerto Rico-US drug route. Drugs are flown into Haiti and then transported by ground to the DR. From the DR they are taken by boat to Puerto Rico for sale in the US market. Customs controls for those traveling to the US are minimal between Puerto Rico and the US.
> 8. Priest denounces army men are recruiting Haitians
> Father Pierre Riquoit denounced that Dominican army men are involved in the recruiting of Haitian workers for Dominican farms. The farms that are in need of labor pay the army men. The Haitians pay the army members up to RD$800 for a chance to earn a living at a Dominican farm. But Father Pierre Riquoit says that many have the wrong vision of where they are going to be taken to and end up being sent to sugar plantations. Sugar cane cutting is considered the hardest of all farm jobs. The news report by Leo Reyes for El Siglo newspaper says that the army men only provide the Haitians with a National Malaria Eradication Service card, which becomes the Haitians only identification. Poor Haitians rarely have any official identification. Father Riquoit says a pacific invasion of Haitians is happening and estimated the flow at about 30,000 in the "past months."

 DR1 Daily News - Wednesday, 26 April 2000
> 5. Peynado criticizes US handling of Haitian affairs
> Vice Presidential candidate of the PRSC, Jacinto Peynado said in New
> York that the US has established a naval blockade to impede Haitians
> reaching Florida coasts. He said the US has no contingency plan to
> help Haiti. Haiti is economically far worse off today than before the
> US-promoted embargo strangled the economy and a subsequent US invasion
> contributed little to the situation that was not the restoring to
> power of Jean Bertrand Aristide, today one of Haiti's most wealthy
> men. Furthermore, news sources indicate that the drug business is
> flourishing in Haiti feeding off the present institutional chaos.
> He said that if PRSC candidate Joaquín Balaguer is elected President,
> that government would establish clear rules regarding Haitian
> migration to the DR.