Violent Protests Rock Dominican-Haitian Border

AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa

Violent protests disrupted the Dominican-Haitian border
recently after authorities destroyed fruits and vegetables they were growing on protected land. This border area conflict is just the latest in a string of incidents that has heightened tension on the island of Hispaniola.

Haitians burned tires and blocked the roads that connect Dajabon province of the DR with the southwestern part of Haiti.  Ana Carrasco, the Environment Ministry’s top official in Dajabon told the local press that this is the fourth time the Haitians have been removed from the area, and pointed out that many Haitians have occupied land in the country to grow crops, "destroying woodlands indiscriminately."

But Timon Claude Salcime, a spokesman for the Haitian demonstrators, said that the farmers have no land to till and for that reason alone have been forced to cross into Dominican territory, where they occupied "abandoned" terrain to grow crops so they can make a living. Carrasco countered this statement, pointing out that the land being tilled by the Haitian protesters is environmentally protected, not abandoned.

Dominican officials estimate that 1 million Haitians live in their country, most illegally, and working in agriculture and construction. Though both Haiti and the Dominican Republic are among the poorest countries in the Americas, Haiti is destitute and citizens stream across the border to the DR looking for more opportunities and a better life.

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About this author

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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