In 2015, the Dominican Republic (DR) got international backlash for new regulations that stripped citizenship from over 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent. In response, DR created a law to help these people back to full citizenship, but only a small fraction were able to make it through the bureaucratic hurdles. Now, the majority are not only unable to vote but part of the group (Group B) may have no way to attain citizenship, as these people were forced to register as foreigners and obtain a foreign ID, though they were born in DR. While political candidates continue to avoid these issues, Reconoci.do is working to make sure that they can come into public dialogue so that Dominicans of Haitian descent, especially those in Group B, can exercise their right to vote and even run for public office to protect their rights in the future.
Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text.
Tens Of Thousands Of Dominicans Of Haitian Descent Were Unable To Vote In Yesterday’s Elections
Jonathan DiMaio, Remezcla
May 16, 2016
On May 15, the Dominican Republic held its general elections for presidency, vice presidency, congress, and municipal leaders. But not all Dominicans of voting age were allowed to vote. In spring and summer of 2015, the Dominican government’s plan to deport and expel tens of thousands of Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent gained international attention and condemnation. By the end of the year, the Dominican government deported thousands of people to Haiti, some of whom qualified as Dominican citizens, and today many Dominicans of Haitian descent who live in the Dominican Republic cannot vote because they are denied documentation. I recently sat down with Ana Maria Belique, an internationally recognized human and civil rights advocate and a founder and leader of Reconoci.do, an organization that advocates for full citizenship for Dominicans who have been stripped of or are at risk of losing their citizenship because of their Haitian ancestry. I asked Ana Maria about developments in the country, in particular Dominicans of Haitian descent’s movement for full citizenship.
Before diving into the interview, below you can catch up on the complicated circumstances and recent events leading to the current situation in the Dominican Republic. If you’re up to date, skip to the interview after the jump:
Click HERE for the full text.