THE BLACK LINE

Annalisa Natali Murri

 

Haiti and Dominican Republic are divided by 360 km of borders, 55 of which consist of the River Massacre. In 1937, during the “parsley massacre”, 30000 Haitians were killed along that river by Dominican army, with the excuse that a supposed Haitian “invasion” could pose a serious threat to Dominican society and its racial integrity. The slaughter has irrevocably widened the rift between the two countries and radicalized a deep anti-Haitian sentiment in DR, which in turn resulted in episodes of violence against Haitians. Immigrants from Haiti have been crossing the border for more than 100 years in search of a life opportunity, while Dominican government never stopped to pursue forced repatriations against their darker-skinned neighbours. In 2013 a court stated that Dominican born from immigrant parents should be deprived of their citizenship, giving way to countless cases of abuses as illegal expulsions, denial of identity documents and arbitrary deprivation of nationality. This recent kind of violence towards Haitians represented a sort of legal ethnic cleansing, replicating by judicial instruments what in the past has been done with machetes.

 

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