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Young Haitian-Dominicans Demand Their Right to a Legal Identity

Around 50 Dominican young men and women of Haitian ancestry, organized in the Movimiento Reconoci.do [es], marched from the San Pedro de Macorís Cathedral to the National Palace in Santo Domingo demanding the restitution of their documents, and therefore their Dominican nationality, taken away arbitrarily through an administrative ruling -R12- issued by the Central Electoral Board (JCE) in 2007.

The marchers denounced the abuse and inconsistencies of the JCE, which wants to send between 19 and 22 thousand files to the Department of Immigration (DGM), taking them unilaterally from the civil registry to move them to the book of immigration without any investigation.

In the article, “A State that Harms Itself” [es], published on her blog, social activist Gloria Amézquita says:

La indocumentación de la población dominicana de ascendencia haitiana, cristaliza varias de las fallas del Estado Dominicano en materia de derecho a un nombre y a una nacionalidad.

The non-documentation of the Dominican population of Haitian ancestry cristalizes a variety of the Dominican state's flaws in matters of the right to a name and a nationality.

Many supporters have joined together under the hashtag #LevantaTuVoz [es] (#RaiseYourVoice) on Twitter and have maintained constant coverage of the events through the official @Reconoci_do account.

The march departed at 8 a.m. from San Pedro de Macorís, after being blessed by Father Luis Antonio,

Dominican youth of Haitian ancestry protesting for their rights. Used with permission.

Dominican youth of Haitian ancestry protesting for their rights. Used with permission.

parish priest of the San Pablo Apóstol Cathedral, from which they left towards Santo Domingo and on Friday, April 12, to the National Palace, where the affected youth requested a statement from President Danilo Medina, as the first president of the nation who expressed in the campaign prior to his election that the problem of Dominicans of Haitian ancestry would be on his agenda.

The youth made a call to social movements, churches, labor unions, artists, politicians, athletes and society in general to join the march: “Respect for our rights is a guarantee that everyone's rights be respected. The JCE should return “our seized documents,” said the organizers.

Throughout its route, the march was guarded by police officers and an ambulance, both of which joined as a gesture of support.

Viceminister of the Presidency Henry Molina receives the documents. Used with permission.

Viceminister of the Presidency Henry Molina receives the documents. Used with permission.

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