As many as 200 Dominicans of Haitian descent demonstrated in front of the National Palace in Santo Domingo on July 12 to demand that President Danilo Medina take a position on the refusal of the Central Electoral Council (JCE) to provide them with their birth certificates and other legal documents. According to the Reconoci.do youth movement, some 22,000 citizens of Haitian descent are unable to enter universities or even to get married because for the last seven years the Civil Registry, which is controlled by the JCE, has been denying them their legal documents–part of a series of anti-immigrant acts that included amending the Constitution in 2010 to limit citizenship to people with Dominican parents. Protesters denounced the denial of their papers as “a discriminatory policy directed against thousands of people from one group, the Dominican children of Haitians, and not the descendants…of Spanish, French, Italian or Chinese people.”
Some protesters had tape over their mouths to dramatize the government’s refusal to recognize their human rights; some couples were dressed for the weddings they are not being allowed to have. Reconoci.do has been organizing these protests at least since last August, and it has held five so far this year, always on the 12th of the month. (7dias.com.do, Santo Domingo, July 12: El Diario-La Prensa, New York, July 13, from correspondent)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, July 14.