A Troubled Year

Haitians in the Dominican Republic

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The Dominican government's human rights practices on its state-owned sugarcane plantations in 1992 were shaped by two events in the Dominican Republic and Haiti in 1991. One, between the months of June and September 1991, was the Dominican authorities' summary expulsion from the country of as many as 6,000 Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian origin, and the flight to Haiti of tens of thousands of others who sought to avoid forced deportation. The other was the bloody September 30, 1991 military coup in Haiti, which ousted the first democratically elected Haitian president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide; resulted in the mass killing of civilians; systematically trampled basic civil and political rights; and provoked a hemisphere-wide trade embargo. The military takeover in Haiti led thousands of Haitians and Dominico-Haitians to cross the border once again, to return to the country that only months earlier had grievously mistreated them. Once more, many were compelled to cut sugarcane on government plantations.

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