News

Haitian deportation forum wraps up Planet Kreyol’s Haitian Culture Week

Nearing the end of Planet Kreyol’s Haitian Culture Week, a Haitian deportation forum shined a somber light on the typically upbeat and festive week on Friday night. Planet Kreyol brought in Haitian attorneys Ronald Surin and Kertch Conze to speak about the plight of Haitians in the Dominican Republic.

Surin began the forum with a brief history lesson on the split between Haiti and the Dominican Republic with an emphasis on the racial divide between the two countries. He mentioned how word pronunciation would be used to separate the people of the two countries.

“Depending on how they pronounced ‘perejil’ (parsley), Dominicans would either be categorized as Haitian or Dominican,” Surin said.

The history lesson quickly moved into contemporary issues as Surin talked about a recent Dominican court ruling that set the year 1929 as the cutoff year when any children born to foreigners, even on Dominican soil, were not considered Dominican citizens. This ultimately made 200,000 people stateless, according to Surin and Amnesty International.

“The stateless citizens use whatever is lying around to make shelter, forming tent cities where the conditions are deplorable,” Surin said.

Conze strayed slightly from the historic precedent and emphasized a broader spectrum of plights, enlightening the economic, cultural and social disparities that create the rift between the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The Dominican Republic is populated by roughly 11 million people and has a gross domestic product (GDP) of $64 billion. Haiti has about the same size population, but its GDP is just $8.7 billion.

“It’s not just two different countries, it’s two different worlds,” Conze said.

Conze spoke to the attendees of “Bateys” or “places of joy,” which are modern-day equivalents to slave plantations.

“Workers work from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., with worker ages from nine to 75 years old and where the amount of work a worker puts in is not measured in pounds, but in tons,” Conze said.

Dotie Joseph, the former president of the Haitian Lawyers Association, joined the conversation near the end of the forum and further elaborated on the issues plaguing Haitians. He asked students to use the hashtag “rights4allinDR” to raise awareness.

March 20, 2016

Reporters

Justin Lei


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Gino DiMare on Tuesday stood in a spot that two men before him had crafted into a pinnacle of succes ...

The NBA Draft is on Thursday, and the buzz around the league is that the University of Miami’s Lonni ...

Former NFL and University of Miami star Kellen Winslow Jr. was arrested Thursday for numerous allege ...

Trevor Darling's perseverance paid off. After not being selected in the NFL Draft, the former U ...

Father's Day has never been a big holiday in the Larranaga household because basketball always ...

Teachers tackle challenging questions at the Holocaust Studies Summer Institute. ...

A University of Miami lecturer explores the role of the front porch in black communities. ...

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, two public health sciences students traveled to Puerto Rico to ...

Colder Atlantic temperatures could change hurricane season forecasts, but the trend isn't expec ...

UM neurorehabilitation expert David S. Kushner, M.D., who helps modern patients recover from brain s ...

Gino DiMare was officially introduced as the 10th head baseball coach in program history Tuesday in ...

Jaquan Johnson was named to Athlon Sports' Preseason All-America First Team, while Shaq Quarter ...

An outstanding showing at the USATF Championships earned Symone Mason a trip to the World U20 Champi ...

UM alum returns to lead Canes' MBB strength and conditioning efforts. ...

Amy Deem was recognized for the third time as the ACC Women's Outdoor Track and Field Coach of ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.