Haitian Woman Claims Sexual Assault By Immigration Agent While Detained At Dominican Republic Airport
An immigration agent in the Dominican Republic has been accused of raping a Haitian woman in the presence of her 4-year-old son while she was being detained at Las Américas International Airport in Santa Domingo.
According to ABC News, the incident allegedly occurred Saturday, Sept. 23, as the woman was traveling to Nicaragua, ABC News reports. Authorities suspected the woman had falsified documents because her son’s last name did not match hers. While being detained in a cell with her child, the woman alleges the agent in question ordered her to remove her clothes.
Though she resisted, the woman claims fear for her son’s safety made her follow the agent’s commands. Prosecutor Milciades Guzmán claims that an arrest warrant for the agent was requested soon after the woman reported the incident.
Prosecutors have also asked that the suspect be jailed until the investigation is completed.
The news comes as racial tensions have boiled over between Haiti and the Dominican Republic following border closures issued by President Luis Abinader. As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, thousands of Haitian immigrants have been deported from the Dominican Republic amid ongoing discussions around constructing a canal alongside a shared waterway between the two countries.
The storied history of racism against Haitians underlines the dispute that threatens to trap residents in the country ravaged by gang violence in recent years. Poverty, including lack of access to clean water, awaits those forced back into Haiti.
“These actions are not driven by concerns for international law,” said Maismy-Mary Fleurant, a former officer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
“But rather by local politicians aimed at demonstrating who can be the most vehemently anti-Haitian. Unfortunately, Haitians consistently bear the brunt of these local political maneuvers.”