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Lynchings, citizenship issues are behind tensions between Haiti and the Dominican Republic

Two deaths and scores of Haitian-Dominicans still stateless have contributed to the rising tensions between the two Caribbean nations.

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  1. Haitians gathered on Wednesday Feb. 25 in a march against racism in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Organized by the National Union of Haitians (UNNOH), several other organizations took part, including medical and lawyer's associations.
  2. Haitians are demanding answers on recent killings that some in the media have called lynchings. In addition, as Haiti and the Dominican Republic share a border on a small Caribbean island, Haitian-born Dominicans are battling against new citizenship laws stacked against them.

    These issues and more have led Haitians to not only demand the resignation of their ambassador to the Dominican Republic, but also to gather and march.
  3. What was the motive for the deaths of two men?

  4. Around Feb. 11, a young man was found hanging from a tree in a public park in Santiago, the second-largest city in the Dominican Republic. The man, whose name has been reported several different ways (Jean Claude Harry, Henry Clode Jean), frequented the park as a shoe shiner.
  5. (Translation: - Santiago - found dead and tied hand and foot, a Haitian man who shined shoes - of @CDN37 @CDN37 )
  6. (Translation: Chief @PoliciaRD at Ercilia Pepín Park in Santiago, receiving information on the crime scene where...)
  7. (Translation: The Haitian hanged in a park in this city, known as the shoeshine boy of the medics of Cabral (hospital); it's terrifying to think that this is racial.)
  8. Early on, investigators said they had arrested two men. They declared that the crime, which many had started calling a "lynching," had nothing to do with race, but with robbery.
  9. (Translation: MP and researchers dismiss motive of racism in the case of Haitian hanged in Santiago. The motive is money theft from a lottery game.)
  10. Despite the arrests, Police Chief Manuel Castro Castillo reported to Listin Diario that the investigation into who committed the act is still ongoing.
  11. A week after the first killing, reports of another man, also of Haitian descent, circulated.
  12. Haitian news site Alterpresse names the man as Ti Louis, and says he was a "well known" man. In some Dominican press, the killing was described as a "beheading."
  13. A week after the first murder, Haitian Prime Minister Evans Paul and other politicians in Haiti issued statements condemning the killings.
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