Reflections on El Perejil: 1937 vs 2015

Masacre del Perejil (Parsley Massacre), El Corte (The Cutting), Kout kouto a (Knife blow) all refer to the Dominican Republic government initiated massacre of Haitians in 1937 led by then President Rafael Trujillo. The act of cleansing was aimed at decimating the Haitian population living along the border shared by Haiti and Dominica (both countries share the island of Hispaniola). The death toll from this is estimated at as high as 30,000. Perejil is the Spanish equivalent to parsley and that is how the genocide got one of its names with the pronunciation of this word used as the basis to determine one’s Dominican-ness to either massacre or not massacre.

Fast-forward to 2015: the Dominican Republic government is embarking on a modern day homogenizing process. No they are not leading a massacre- this time it is a large scale deportation; a racial cleansing; purifying of the Dominican lands.

Over 200,000 individuals living in Dominica of Haitian decent are set to face mass deportation to Haiti having not completed their regularization process by the June 17 deadline; a process which was geared towards ensuring that the majority could not get regularized (as low as 300 reported as being regularized). Mark you, thousands of these citizens were born in the DR and have never been in Haiti before but will face deportation following a Supreme Court ruling in 2013 because they were born to Haitian parents IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. How then will Haiti deal with the massive influx of Dominicans? I don’t believe they will be able to or should be made to even try to.

This is clearly a violation of human rights to force individuals out of their country of birth. This then brings me to what is even more appalling than the fact that the Dominican Republic government is driving such callous policy; the silence of major international powers and Human Rights Organizations. All the statements must have missed me is what I was thinking at one point but luckily after much searching I did find a petition on the Amnesty International website (you can go sign it by the way). Is this enough? No!!! Much stronger statements have been sent out in condemnation of unjust activities by this organization and others before. There needs to be a greater demand coming from the foremost human rights organization.

Ignoring my displeasure with Amnesty I went on searching because the UN must have sought to drive a wedge into that policy. After all, I’ve heard the strong statements on issues of international importance before. *Google Search* UN condemns mass deportation of Haitians”– nothing of substance; “Ban Ki Moon opposes Dominican Republic deportation of Haitians”– one wishy washy article where the Secretary General asks what will happen to Haitian-Dominics after the deadline has passed instead of demanding some curtailing of this unjust act or making one of those strong statements I have heard before- not that much came of many of them but a huge and globally recognized condemnation nonetheless.

The opponents to Obama’s DREAM Act (legislative framework for undocumented residents to be given conditional residency and possible permanent residency thereafter) must be showing him that Danilo Medina’s way is the right way. Speaking of Obama… The US government and other powerful governments should lead sanctions against the Dominican Republic as they have done against so many other countries operating in contravention of (or perceived contravention of) the basic principles of human rights. I am elated to finally see a statement from CARICOM, in which DR has Observer status, which I deemed essential before calling on these big guns.

Those with the power to effect a reversal of this brutal policy cannot sit by in silence while this racial cleansing is continued in this the 21st century. Quash anti-haitianismo!

The time to act is NOW!!!

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