[Blackstudies-l] Caribbean migrants risk danger and discrimination for a new life in Chile
lima at geneseo.edu
Thu Jun 29 12:41:50 EDT 2017
ivetteromero posted: " Many thanks to Michael O'Neal for sharing this
fascinating article by Piotr Kozak (The Guardian) reporting on the
Dominican and Haitian (and Venezuelan) migrations to Chile. The article
underlines that more than 50,000 Haitians and 15,000 Dominicans are"
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<http://repeatingislands.com/author/ivetteromero/> Caribbean migrants risk
danger and discrimination for a new life in Chile
*Many thanks to Michael O'Neal for sharing this fascinating article by
Piotr Kozak (The Guardian
reporting on the Dominican and Haitian (and Venezuelan) migrations to
Chile. The article underlines that more than 50,000 Haitians and 15,000
Dominicans are “part of an economic story quickly moving up the political
agenda.” See excerpts here and full story via The Guardian
Digna Batista was promised she would be heading to paradise when she paid
people smugglers to take her from the Dominican Republic
<https://www.theguardian.com/world/dominicanrepublic> to Chile. Instead,
she found herself walking across a desert minefield to encounter a less
than sympathetic welcome in a society that is struggling to accommodate a
growing number of migrants from the Caribbean.
Discrimination, labour abuse and outdated immigration policies have made
adjustment difficult for many among the more than 50,000 Haitians and
15,000 Dominicans who are part of an economic migration story that is
quickly moving up the political agenda before a presidential election later
Batista borrowed more than $2,500 to pay *coyotes* for the journey across
the Andes and the Atacama Desert in the hope of finding a better life. [. .
The dangers are all too real. More than 50,000 mines were laid by the
Chilean military in the 1970s – a time of dictatorship and paranoia about
Peru. Although the army subsequently promised to decommission them all by
2012, progress has been slow and about 40,000 are still in place. Warning
signs are either inadequate, misplaced or ignored by desperate migrants.
Last year, a 24-year-old Dominican, Daniel Sosa, lost his left foot when he
stepped on a mine trying to enter the country illicitly to find work after
being denied a visa.
A string of such incidents – some of them fatal – have caused growing
diplomatic concern that Chile’s border policies are driving people to risk
illegal crossings. The Dominican Republic consul in Arica, Nina Consuegra,
said Chile’s PDI border police are now stopping and denying entry to anyone
who is either black or Venezuelan if they fail to show pre-paid hotel
vouchers and return tickets.
But even those who arrive legally face prejudice. Until the 1990s, Chile
<https://www.theguardian.com/world/chile> had only a small black
population, so the recent arrival of a black migrants has caused a stir.
History suggests this ought not to be the case. A 2014 genetic study found
that one in two Chileans had ancestors among the thousands of African
slaves brought to the country between the 16th and 19th centuries. But
Chile’s elite have long preferred to emphasise their country’s European
roots and the newcomers are now the subject of a growing debate. [. . .]
The current system is widely criticised as outdated. One notorious
immigration law – a holdover of the Pinochet dictatorship – intrinsically
views all migrants as potential subversives, said Jean Claude Pierre-Paul,
a Haitian social worker.
[. . .] Cooler heads urge self-reflection. In the Independencia
neighbourhood, social worker Patricia Loredo, who helps run the Sin
Fronteras migrants rights collective, believes Chileans need to be much
better informed and educated about their heritage. “Most Chileans don’t
have a clear idea of their cultural identity,” she stated, “but this is
clearly a mixed-race society.”
[Photo above (Bloomberg/Getty Images): The Puerto Principe area of
Quilicura district in Santiago.]
For full article, see https://www.theguardian.com/
*ivetteromero <http://repeatingislands.com/author/ivetteromero/>* | June
29, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Tags: Caribbean migrants
<http://repeatingislands.com/tag/chile/>, DOminican immigrants
<http://repeatingislands.com/tag/dominican-immigrants/>, Haitian immigrants
<http://repeatingislands.com/tag/migrations/> | Categories: News
<http://repeatingislands.com/category/news/> | URL: http://wp.me/psnTa-vYh
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