Stop xenophobic and racist lynching in the Dominican Republic!

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The undersigned organisations and personalities alert you to the persistence of racist hate crimes in the Dominican Republic. We wish to express our concern and rejection of hate speeches and xenophobic attitudes that promote institutions and authorities of the Dominican State.

On 3 June this year, in the Matanzas neighbourhood of Santiago, the second most populated and important city in the Dominican Republic, a racist horde carried out a new lynching against two Haitian workers. As stated in the official investigations, the businessman Gabriel Beato Burgos in a first attack, motivated by xenophobia, shot two men of Haitian nationality and a stray bullet shot by him killed the young Daniel Espejo. To cover up his crime, he accused the Haitians that he himself had attempted to murder.

Incited by the killer, a mob of racists attacked Victor Pierre and Esil´hommeAtul, two Haitian workers who were passing by and had no connection with the first incident, killing Pierre and seriously injuring Atul. Witnesses have denounced that several Haitian families living in the community were expelled by the mob.

This brutal hate crime against two innocent Haitian workers is a new evidence of the degree of degeneration of the racist regime prevailing in the Dominican Republic, and particularly in the El Cibao region, which has become a centre of operations for ultra-right nationalist groups. Mayor Abel Martinez Duran, who is one of the top leaders of the ruling party, has promoted hate campaigns against Haitian immigrants and has prepared his subordinates to use excessive force, running over, extorting and stealing Haitian nationals. even last year a tourist from Kenya, Frederick Marwan, was attacked by the Santiago police solely because they believed he was a Haitian national. The arbitrary expulsion by Dominicans of Haitian descent in illegal deportation proceedings has also been denounced.

It is common for racist mobs to burn the homes of Haitian immigrants and expel them from the communities where they live. And virtually all of these crimes go unpunished. One of the most emblematic cases of racist violence in recent years, the murder of young Claude Jean Harry "Tulile", who was found hanging in a park in Santiago in 2015, remains unpunished.

According to the report "The Republic of Injustices" published in 2018 by the Initiative for Investigative Journalism in the Americas, in the last decade the press covered 67 lynching of which 15 were against people of Haitian nationality. This is only a small part of the lynching that occurred in the country, in which the majority of Dominican victims are also black.

Most media amplify racist and conspiracy speeches about a "silent invasion," continuing a disastrous tradition of Trujillo's fascist dictatorship. Institutional racism has reached such a point that the Dominican State has been adopting policies in the last six years to make more than 100,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent stateless.

Discourses that fuel hatred and terror in society are the prelude to serious criminal actions, including hate crimes. It is common, and especially in pre-election periods, for government officials and candidates from most parties to use racist rhetoric, foisting on Haitian immigrants the country's economic and social problems, especially criminality and a supposed overload of public services. The tendency is to deny the facts and reality data, which indicate that immigrant workers, mostly Haitians, contribute significantly to the country's economic development. Far from parasitizing the Dominican State, on the contrary, they are commonly overexploited and deprived of the right to unionization, the full enjoyment of their labour rights and the principle of equal pay for equal work.

Together with the sectors of society that defend human rights and bet on a better coexistence and respect for diversity of all kinds among all people, we call for the broadest anti-racist solidarity to denounce the alarming and dangerous situation that Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent are going through in the Dominican Republic due to the rise of racist propaganda and racist State policies. We demand that the Dominican government cease policies aimed at denying the rights of Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent.

We demand an end to impunity for racist and fascist groups that incite mass lynching, murders and expulsions of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent. We demand that the Dominican State sign international pacts and treaties that defend the rights of migrants, and approve laws against racist hate crimes. And we demand justice for all victims of racist lynching, especially Claude Jean Harry and Victor Pierre.

#HaitiansRD

National Human Rights Commission of the Dominican Republic (RD)

Afrikan Political Creative Laboratory (RD)

Haitian Popular Youth Organization (ODJPH)

Prietas (Black Women) Meeting (RD)

Guyana Socialist Workers Alliance

Socialist Workers’ Movement Dominican Republic (MST, IWU-FI)