Border killings trigger mass deportation of Haitians from Dominican Republic

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — More than 100 additional people have been deported to Haiti from neighbouring Dominican Republic after an elderly Dominican couple was killed, a spokesman for a Haitian migrant advocacy group said yesterday.

The number of Haitians and people of Haitian descent who’ve been expelled has reached 354, said Josue Michel, a spokesman for the Group for Repatriates and Refugees. Authorities had reported at least 244 people expelled as of Sunday.

Marie Matte Mayan, 26, sleeps on the floor with her twins, Maudeline and Maudena Pierre, at a shelter Sunday in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti, after being deported by Dominican Republic authorities. (PHOTOS: AP)

The expulsions follow violence that engulfed a town in the southwestern corner of the Dominican Republic. The couple was slain last week during an apparent burglary near the border between the two countries and a Dominican mob retaliated by killing a Haitian man.

Migrant advocates say many of the deported people went to a police station seeking refuge, and that some of them volunteered to leave the country because they feared being victims of mob violence. Others left because the Dominican authorities rounded them up in the streets, migrant advocates added.

Haiti and the Dominican Republic have had a long and volatile relationship as neighbours on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

The Dominican Republic was among the first countries to respond after the devastating 2010 earthquake in the Haitian capital, and has helped with reconstruction by securing contracts on major infrastructure projects since then. But relations between the two have soured since September when a Dominican court threatened to revoke citizenship for residents of the Dominican Republic of Haitian descent, which could affect 200,000 people.

The Dominican government announced last week that it has developed a plan to resolve the legal status of people who could lose their citizenship because of the ruling. Details are to be released once a decree is signed and takes effect in the coming days.


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