Thursday, June 21, 2007

Some stories coming out of Hispaniola

There is a very interesting article recently published by the Inter-Press Service by Elizabeth Eames Roebling that looks, from the Dominican side of the border, at the current debate regarding Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent in the country. One of my own articles for the Inter-Press Service on the same subject was recently quoted by the Boston Globe.

As if one needed any proof that the Dominican Republic is not alone in short-sighted immigration policies, the same day I read for the first time of the plight of Yaderlin Hiraldo, the wife of United States Army Specialist Alex Jimenez, who has been missing since his unit was attacked by insurgents in Iraq on May 12. Jimenez had petitioned for a green card for his wife, who came to join him without proper documentation from the Dominican Republic in 2001, before his disappearance. Ms. Hiraldo is seeking a hardship waiver to stay in the United States which the U.S. government has yet to grant.

From back in Haiti, meanwhile, one of the main gang leaders from the Raboteau district in the northern city of Gonaives, Adecla Saint-Juste, has met his end, “cut down,” Haiti’s Radio Kiskeya is reporting, in the nearby district of Anse Rouge. Many thought Saint-Juste behind the May 16 slaying of Alix Joseph, the director Radio-Télé Provinciale in the city

The offensive of the Police Nationale and United Nation’s MINUSTAH forces against gangs in Haiti’s City of Independence, which has been plagued by gang activity at least since the Armée Canibale gang of Amiot “Cubain” Metayer harassed and killed opponents of then-Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from 2000 until 2003, appears to be bearing some fruit. Metayer himself was murdered, on what many of his supporters believe was Aristide’s orders, in September 2003, one of the sparks that lit the rebellion that eventually ousted Aristide five months later.

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