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“Modern Form of Slavery”: Haitians at Dominican Sugar Plantations Work Under Inhumane Conditions

Written by on 30/08/2023

We go with Democracy Now! correspondent Juan Carlos Dávila to the Dominican Republic, where many Haitian migrants and their descendants work on sugar plantations under conditions amounting to forced labor and live in heavily underresourced communities known as bateyes. Many bateyes do not have electricity or running water. We speak to local residents and members of the Reconocido movement, which fights for the rights of Haitians in the Dominican Republic, about the workers’ inhumane treatment and their lack of legal status in the country, as well as about efforts to improve living conditions in the bateyes, such as an initiative spearheaded by the Puerto Rican environmental group Casa Pueblo to install solar panels in the communities. “The right of energy has to be for everyone,” says Casa Pueblo’s executive director, Arturo Massol-Deyá, who shares how his organization is working in solidarity with batey residents to disrupt the cycle of poverty and prepare for climate adaptation.

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