Dominican, Haitian Killed in Race-Fueled Dispute

Ezequiel Abiu Lopez, WTOP-FM (Washington, D.C.), September 26, 2010

A Dominican foreman fatally shot a Haitian worker during an argument over pay, touching off racial clashes Sunday at a construction site that killed a Dominican worker and injured another, police said.

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According to a police statement, Haitians working on the residential project were demanding unpaid wages Saturday when the foreman, whose identity was not released, drew a pistol and fired, killing 32-year-old Issac Louis.

The next day, Haitian workers attacked their Dominican supervisors with rocks and wooden poles, beating 34-year-old Maximiliano Hierro to death and wounding 36-year-old William Leonel de la Cruz, police said.

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Construction, agriculture and other industries in the Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic depend on the labor of Haitian migrants who often cross the border illegally. The darker-skinned, French Creole-speaking Haitians are resented by many Dominicans, leading to discrimination, mass deportations and even lynchings.

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