Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 30, 2014

The Nightingale/Seacole Saga Rages on in London’s Daily Mail

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This article by Paul Donnelley appeared in The Daily Mail. It unspeakability speaks for itself . . . its defense of Nightingale is full of inaccuracies and misrepresentations. 

A Horrible Histories TV sketch has been criticised by the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee for giving the impression that Florence Nightingale was racist.
Originally broadcast as part of the hit children’s CBBC history show, the sketch featured Miss Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, and Mary Seacole, who cared for British soldiers on the battlefield during the Crimean War.
A clip from the sketch also appeared on the BBC’s Learning Zone, an educational, online resource for children.

It suggested that Miss Nightingale turned down Jamaican-born Seacole for employment.
Viewers saw the actress playing Miss Nightingale say: ‘The nursing corps was for British girls. You’re from Jamaica’ to which Seacole responded: ‘Me father was from Scotland.’

The Seacole character was also seen saying: ‘Four times me tried to join Old Lamp-Face’s nurses in the Crimean War, and four times she said no.’
The Committee ruled that the sketch breached editorial guidelines on accuracy and said that programme-makers should have done more to make it clear that it was not Miss Nightingale herself who rejected Seacole.
Seacole had, in fact, gone to Crimea to start her business and didn’t ask once for a job.
The reality is that she went to Russia in the spring of 1855 to set up a provisions store that sold luxury items (such as tinned lobster) to officers, and a restaurant and bar where they could dine and drink champagne.
It was hardly fare for rank and file soldiers.
Rather than ministering to the sick and wounded, Seacole’s main work by day was food preparation.

It said that viewers of the clip, which also showed the pair jostling, ‘would be likely to receive the overall impression that Florence Nightingale had acted towards Mary Seacole in a racially discriminatory manner’.
They would ‘be likely to regard the implied allegation of racial discrimination as established historical fact’, the Committee added.
But it said that ‘there was no evidence before it about Florence Nightingale to suggest that she had acted in a racially discriminatory manner’ and that it was ‘materially inaccurate’ to suggest that Miss Nightingale had said the nursing corps was ‘for British girls’.

It said that given Miss Nightingale’s ‘significant stature’ in modern British history, the allegation required ‘compelling proof’.
The Committee concluded that the sketch breached guidelines on accuracy, saying: ‘Given the seriousness of any imputation of racism, the relative recency of Nightingale’s life…the immensity of Nightingale’s contribution to modern nursing and her significant stature in modern British history, the Committee felt it was incumbent on the programme makers to ensure that there was sound evidence upon which to base any suggestion that she had acted in a racially discriminatory manner in a Learning Zone clip.
‘It appeared to the Committee that an allegation of such gravity against a person such as Nightingale required compelling proof. In the Committee’s view, the programme makers had provided no such evidence.’
It said that it was not trying to suggest limiting ‘the range of comedic or dramatic devices’ used in history content for children.
‘However in this very specific instance, making a charge of racism was very serious.’
It added: ‘The Committee felt in considering this particular clip and this issue, especially given that it appeared in the Learning Zone, it was important for a clear and rigorous adherence to fact, even within the context of the audience expectations for the format of Horrible Histories.’
Children’s comedy Horrible Histories began in 1993 as a series of books, written by Terry Deary, before being adapted into stage productions and a CBBC TV show.

For the original report go to http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2775315/BBC-criticised-implying-Florence-Nightingale-racist-children-s-Horrible-Histories.html

Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 30, 2014

TWN Releases Haitian Documentary Film DEPORTED

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“DEPORTED takes an unflinching look at the plight of Haitian deportees trying to desperately integrate in a foreign society that is less than welcoming.”

Alexandra Phanor-Faury, Ebony Magazine

“Since the immigration debate almost never takes up issues affecting blacks, DEPORTED offered us a rare, important opportunity to sound the alarm on and inspire dialogue concerning crucial issues impacting many immigrants and their families.”

Leslie Fields-Cruz, Black Public Media

Third World Newsreel is proud to announce the educational release of Rachèle Magloire & Chantal Regnault’s DEPORTED, a new documentary film about members of a unique group of outcasts in Haiti: criminal deportees from North America.

Through the portraits and interviews of four deportees in Haiti and their families in North America, DEPORTED presents the tragedy of broken lives, forced separation from American children and spouses, and alienation and stigmatization endured in a country they don’t know and don’t understand, a country that most of them left at a very early age.

Since 1996, the United States has implemented a policy of repatriation of all foreign residents who have been convicted of crimes. Every two weeks, about 50 Haitian nationals are deported from the United States; 40 percent are convicted legal residents who completed their jail sentence in America. To a lesser extent, Canada applies a similar policy. DEPORTED, winner of Best Documentary Award at the Vues D’Afrique International Film Festival, goes far beyond the borders of Haiti and addresses the global issue of migratory policies.

DEPORTED will be part of the Ayiti Images Film Series, a new initiative to showcase the Haitian experience on screen in South Florida. Filmmaker Rachèle Magloire will be be available for Q&A after the screening.

October 1st, 6:30pm

Free Screening & Panel Presentation “US Deportation Policy: A Humanitarian Crisis?”

Florida International University, South Campus, South Dade

October 2nd, 7pm

Screening at University of Miami School of Communication, Shoma Hall Screening, Coral Gables

Suggested Donation $11/$7

October 3rd, 7pm

Screening at Little Haiti Cultural Center, Miami

$11/ $7

October 4th, 2pm

Free Screening at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, Fort Lauderdale

October 4th, 8pm

Screening at Lake Worth Playhouse, West Palm Beach

$11

DEPORTED is available from Third World Newsreel for educational purchase and a free discussion guide is available courtesy of Black Public Media’s documentary series AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange. For  more information about DEPORTED, please contact Third World Newsreel.

Read more: http://twn.org/catalog/pages/cpage.aspx?rec=1415&card=price

Watch trailer: http://twn.org/catalog/previewwin/gvwin.aspx?pid=305

Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 30, 2014

Kei Miller wins Forward poetry prize

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Judges praise Miller’s ‘distinctive voice’ as The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way To Zion takes £10,000 prize, Caroline Davies reports for London’s Guardian

The Jamaican poet Kei Miller has won the prestigious Forward prize for the best poetry collection of 2014 for his “standout” book based on dialogue between a mapmaker striving to impose order on an unfamiliar land and a “Rasta-man” who queries his project.

The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way To Zion took the £10,000 prize, with judges relishing Miller’s ability to “defy expectations” and “set up oppositions only to undermine them”.

Miller, 35, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and financed his studies at Manchester Metropolitan University by winning poetry slams, currently teaches creative writing at Royal Holloway college, University of London.

The collection features a mapmaker who speaks the Queen’s English but sucks his teeth like a Jamaican, and a “Rasta-man” with a PhD who believes “the mapmaker’s work is to make visible/ all them things that shoulda never exist in the first place/ like the conquest of pirates, like borders/ like the viral spread of governments”.

The chair of the judges, the historian and broadcaster Jeremy Paxman, said: “Kei is doing something you don’t come across often: this is a beautifully voiced collection which struck us all with its boldness and wit. Many poets refer to multiple realities, different ways of observing the world. Kei doesn’t just refer, he articulates them”.

The singer Cerys Matthews, one of the judges alongside the poets Vahni Capildeo, Helen Mort and Dannie Abse – who died on Sunday, before the final judging – said: “He has such a distinctive voice and it sounds so fresh and exciting.

“The title, it’s so current, when we think about all these borders fidgeting and wriggling and changing.It questions our traditional idea of what poetry is because he has such a Jamaican voice and his love of rhythm and performance poetry is evident in his work.”

The shortlist comprised Colette Bryce for The Whole and Rain-Domed Universe, John Burnside for All One Breath, Louise Glück for Faithful and Virtuous Night and Hugo Williams for I Knew the Bride.

Liz Berry, a former infant school teacher, won the Felix Dennis prize for best first collection for Black Country, named after the place of her birth, and written in the region’s oft-disparaged dialect. Steven Santos, a language school teacher in Oxford, won the best single poem for In a Restaurant .

Miller first discovered the power of his own voice as a young preacher in Jamaica, but abandoned the church for an academic career in Britain. As a penniless student in Manchester, he earned money by winning poetry slams, becoming the 2004 Manchester slam poetry champion. He later said: “I am ashamed to have won that prize, and truth be told I am also ashamed that I am ashamed”.

In the eight years since his first collection was published he has produced two novels, a short story collections, three more poetry collections and a book of “essays and prophecies”, and he is a prolific blogger and tweeter. He attributes his productivity partly to his recently diagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Matthews said Miller and Berry shared one thing in common: “That the central role of dialect and accent in their works is not your generic Anglo-American academic Oxford English”.

Paxman caused controversy at the beginning of judging when he denounced poetry as an art form, saying it had “rather connived at its own irrelevance” and poets must start engaging with ordinary people.

Matthews said poetry “is especially relevant now, I think, when we are all used to trying to get our message across in 140 characters. The value of words, the economy used, and how to pack a lot into a little, that is what we are dealing with every day just on Twitter”.

The Forward Prizes, now in their 23rd year, are the premier accolades in the UK and Ireland for established and emerging poets[ Former winners include Seamus Heaney for Human Chain, Ted Hughes for Birthday Letters and Carol Ann Duffy for Mean Times.

 

For the original report go to

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/sep/30/kei-miller-wins-forward-poetry-prize

 

 

Posted by: ivetteromero | September 30, 2014

Winners announced for 2014 trinidad+tobago film festival

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Behaviour, an incisive portrait of the life of an at-risk boy in Havana, claimed the top prize at the 2014 trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) in an awards ceremony held at the Central Bank Auditorium de Port of Spain. Directed by Cuba’s Ernesto Daranas Serrano, Behaviour beat out four other films to nab the Best Narrative Feature prize at the Festival. Behaviour was also a favourite with the Festival’s youth jury, who awarded the film a special mention.

The youth jury gave its top prize to a Brazilian film, the charming LGBT-themed coming-of-age drama The Way He Looks, directed by Daniel Ribeiro.

Best Documentary Feature was awarded to a film from the Dominican Republic, Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada’s You and Me, an intimate look at the complex relationship between an elderly woman and her domestic servant.

A documentary was also the winner of the Best Trinidad and Tobago Feature Film—Miquel Galofré’s Art Connect, an uplifting crowd-pleaser featuring young people from the urban community of Laventille in east Port of Spain, whose lives are transformed when they undertake an art project.

The inaugural Amnesty International Human Rights Prize went to The Abominable Crime, Micah Fink’s touching, troubling reflection of the struggle gays and lesbians in Jamaica face to achieve their rights.

Here is a full list of the awards:

Best Narrative Feature: Behaviour, Ernesto Daranas Serrano, Cuba

Best Narrative Feature, Special Mention: Sensei Redemption, German Gruber, Curaçao

Best Documentary Feature: You and Me, Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada, Dominican Republic

Best Documentary Feature, Special Mention: Hotel Nueva Isla, Irene Gutiérrez and Javier Labrador, Cuba

Best Short Film, Narrative: Bullock, Carlos Machado Quintela, Cuba

Best Short Film, Documentary: ABCs, Diana Montero, Cuba

Best Trinidad and Tobago Feature: Art Connect, Miquel Galofré

Best Trinidad and Tobago Short Film, Narrative: Dubois, Kaz Ové

Best Trinidad and Tobago Short Film, Narrative, Special Mention: Noka: Keeper of Worlds, Shaun Escayg

Best Trinidad and Tobago Short Film, Documentary: Field Notes, Vashti Harrison

Best New Media Film: They Say You Can Dream a Thing More Than Once: Versia Harris, Barbados

Amnesty International Human Rights Prize: The Abominable Crime, Micah Fink, Jamaica/USA

BPTT Youth Jury Prize for Best Film: The Way He Looks, Daniel Ribeiro, Brazil

BPTT Youth Jury Prize for Best Film, Special Mention: Behaviour, Ernesto Daranas Serrano, Cuba

People’s Choice Award, Best Narrative Feature: A Story About Wendy 2, Sean Hodgkinson, T&T

People’s Choice Award, Best Documentary Feature: Art Connect, Miquel Galofré, T&T

People’s Choice Award, Best Short Film: Flying the Coup, Ryan Lee, T&T

RBC: Focus Filmmakers’ Immersion Pitch Prize: Raisa Bonnet, Puerto Rico

RBC: Focus Filmmakers’ Immersion Pitch Prize, Special Mention: Davina Lee, St Lucia

Best Student at the Film Programme of the University of the West Indies: Romarlo Anderson Edghill

Best Trinidad and Tobago Film in Development: Rajah: The Story of Boysie Singh, Christian James

For original report, see http://www.ttfilmfestival.com/2014/09/winners-announced-2014-trinidadtobago-film-festival/

Posted by: ivetteromero | September 30, 2014

Photography Exhibition: “Colonial Comfort” in St. Croix

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The Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts in Frederiksted, St. Croix, has an ongoing exhibition with an evocative name, “Colonial Comfort.” “Colonial Comfort” is a photography exhibition featuring the work of nine artists from Puerto Rico, and another nine from the United States Virgin Islands. The exhibition opened on September 19 and will be on view until November 20, 2014. The Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts is located at 10 Strand Street and 62 King Street in Frederiksted, St. Croix, USVI.

Curated by Lisa Ladner, “Colonial Comfort” features work by the following artists: ADÁL, ae.i.ou, Denise Bennerson, David Berg, Diane M. Butler, Nicole Canegata, Janet Cook-Rutnik, Lionel Cruet, Mónica Félix, Tina Henle, Liza Morales, Erik Miles, Ray Miles, Marta Mabel Pérez, Herminio Rodríguez, Steve Simonsen, William Stelzer, and Rebecca Zilenziger.

Related exhibition events included a fantastic seaside opening, a panel discussion (“An interdisciplinary look at (post-)colonialism”) with Roland Roebuck, participating artists, and Lisa Ladner (in collaboration with the University of the Virgin Islands, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences), and an artists’ roundtable. The organizers will also host the SBDC Workshop (www.sbdcvi.org) on Friday, November 14 (more details to be announced): “Leave the Comfort Zone: become an entrepreneur!”

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About the exhibition:  Living in a “comfort zone” is an experience people on our Caribbean islands share with the rest of the world. The comfort zone is a state in which a person uses a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without taking risks. In the comfort zone you try to remain anxiety-neutral. While this strategy enables survival, settling for less can eventually lead to a fear driven, mediocre life that often comes with depression. Just outside of the comfort zone is a world of excitement, financial freedom, success and passion, a fulfilled life. But that can only be achieved by leaving the comfort zone, by experimenting with new behaviors.

Some of the images were done as part of commercial or editorial commissions, others were by-products of such assignments, and yet others were conceived as art works. This museum exhibition reveals the thin line between artistic, commercial, and editorial photography, and shows the power of the context in which an image is viewed.

[Top photo by Liza Morales; bottom, by Marta Mabel Pérez.]

To learn more, please visit or contact:
Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts
10 Strand Street & 62 King Street
Frederiksted, St. Croix, USVI 00840
Phone: (340) 772-2622; Fax: (340) 772-2612

cmcarts@gmail.com

For more information, see http://colonialcomfort.wordpress.com/

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Scientists have discovered a toxic, brightly colored and extremely small dart frog in the hilly areas near the Caribbean coast. Measuring just 12.7 millimeters in length, the newly described Andinobates geminisae is quite mysterious, zmescience.com reports.

The first strange thing about it is that it looks very different from its closest genetic relatives; namely, it’s bright orange. Andrew Crawford, a professor of evolutionary genetics and biostatistics at the University of the Andes in Bogotá, Colombia said:

“The new species superficially looks much more like the strawberry poison dart frog (Oophaga pumilio),” Crawford said. “Perhaps A. geminisae had been observed previously but was confused with Oophaga.”

Oophaga pumilio is also called strawberry poison frog or strawberry poison-dart frog; it’s a fairly common species throughout central America, ranging from central Nicaragua through Costa Rica and northwestern Panama. It seems possible to mistake the two species one for another, because the strawberry poison frog, though usually strawberry red (heh) can also be orange. The two amphibians may have these bright colors to signal the fact that they are highly poisonous and ward off predators – something called Müllerian mimicry. In Müllerian mimicry two or more poisonous species that are not related develop the same warning signals. It is named after the German naturalist Fritz Müller, who first proposed the concept in 1878.

Not much is known about this newly discovered species of frog, though biologists discovered an adult with a tadpole on its back, which seems to suggest that they care for their young. This behavior has also been observed in other poison dart frogs: adults piggyback tadpoles one by one to small pools of water, where they develop into froglets.

The toxins haven’t been studied yet. Indigenous tribes sometimes use frog venom to make their weapons poisonous, but they generally use venom from the golden poison dart frog (Phyllobates terribilis) from Colombia.

Biologists are worried about the future of dart frogs, as they are threatened by habitat reduction, climate change, exotic collectors and the Chytrid fungus.

“It is important we save some of this frog’s tiny habitat to be able to study this unusual species more,” Crawford said.

For the original report go to http://www.zmescience.com/ecology/animals-ecology/dart-frog-amazon-29092014/

Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 29, 2014

Accra Film School and West Indies University Agree On Affiliation

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Accra Film School and the Film School of the University of West Indies in the Caribbean have agreed to form an affiliation that will strengthen both institutions’ missions of leadership and innovation in Film and Media education. The affiliation will build on shared values between AFS and the UWI. Both institutions have reputations for excellence and programs that will benefit from the affiliation’s combination of strengths.
“This affiliation will preserve and strengthen what is special about AFS, while enriching the Film education experience at both institutions by introducing lecturer and student exchanges and expanding our educational programs,” said Executive Director Rex-Anthony Annan. “This exciting new chapter also nicely highlights our position as an intellectual destination plus the introduction of higher qualifications such as diplomas and degrees.”
“The Film industry in Ghana has tremendous potential of becoming as formidable as any successful one elsewhere. With focus on building sustainable structures and telling great stories that show the country in a positive light, the sky is the limit”, said Coordinator of the Film School at the West Indies University. “I commend AFS model and approach of training the new breed of film professionals and I believe this relationship will be a mutually beneficial venture for years to come.”
Accra Film School (AFS) is a Ghana Education Service approved training institution for film making and television production; that offers an intensive hands-on, thorough approach to learning. Courses are taught through a balance of classroom instruction, hands-on workshops and immediate experience.
Mr Rameser has commended AFS on this model and hopes to simulate this at The University of West Indies, while AFS in turn will gain the model of diplomas and degrees to beef up the school’s appeal.
Discussions on working modalities will go on till the end of this year while AFS gets to debut its diploma course early 2015.

Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 29, 2014

Author Edwidge Danticat takes questions from St. Joseph Academy students

PhotoEdwidge Danticat Sharing the depth and breadth of Haiti

Edwidge Danticat, a Haitian-American author and lecturer, spoke with students at St. Joseph Academy about diaspora and the healing power of writing, as Jake Martin reports for The Augustine Record. Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

Edwidge Danticat, a Haitian-American author and lecturer, spoke with students at St. Joseph Academy about diaspora and the healing power of writing. The author’s work has earned her many accolades including an Oprah’s Book Club selection with “Breath, Eyes, Memory,” her 1994 novel.

Improvising, Danticat took questions from the class over speakerphone after having some technical difficulties in setting up a Skype video chat this week.

Michael Arnold, an English teacher at St. Joseph, said his world literature class had just finished a unit on diaspora and the countries most affected by it. Among others, Haiti and the United States have shared a history of dealing, or not dealing, with the effects of displacement and marginalization in their societies.

Diaspora is the dispersion of any people from their original homeland. Danticat is no stranger to strange places. She spent much of her early childhood away from her parents. Her father left Haiti for America when she was 2 years old and her mother left two years later.

Danticat, who began writing when she was 9 years old, said she tries to write about families dealing with separation and how they attempt to reconstruct their lives afterward.

When she was 12, she left Haiti for Brooklyn, New York, to join her parents in a predominantly Haitian-American neighborhood. She entered her teenage years disoriented with her new surroundings and turned to writing to try and salvage her identity.

“I write fiction, I write non-fiction, I write for kids and I write for adults,” she said. “I try to address issues of desperation. I try to address issues of family and family separation.”

Many times, diaspora occurs on a large scale after a natural disaster or political upheaval. Arnold asked Danticat why people might be willing to separate themselves from faraway tragedies.

After Hurricane Katrina she heard many people say they couldn’t understand how the slow response to the disaster could have happened in this country. Danticat said while there could be some truth to the idea of American exceptionalism, many issues are simply not brought to light.

“There are other things that we share with the world, like extreme poverty, that you don’t see all the time, but there are millions of children going to bed hungry in the United States,” she said. “Sometimes people in this country are not aware of that.”

She said there is a responsibility to educate students that there are people living in difficult situations around the world and that many of them live in the U.S.

“For me, writing is a kind of prayer, almost,” she said. “If I didn’t write I feel like I would be carrying a bigger load through the world. I’d be angrier. I’d be much unhappier.”

One student asked if it was more harmful to be marginalized by your home country or to be marginalized in a new county. Danticat had experienced both. She said both situations are hurtful, but to be marginalized a new country is disorienting and prejudices can keep people from finding work and building a life.

“She’s elbowed her own space in a world that wanted to take that away from her,” Arnold said after the conference with the author. “It’s humbling to consider how quickly we take things for granted.”

He said speaking with Danticat was the perfect way to wrap up the students’ work on tracing themes of diaspora through literature. Arnold has been a teacher with St. Joseph Academy for six years. He originally reached out to Danticat through Facebook and from her response was able to arrange the discussion.

For the original report go to

http://staugustine.com/school-news/2014-09-26/author-edwidge-danticat-takes-questions-st-joseph-academy-students

 

Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 29, 2014

Dominican Republic: one year after ruling Nr. 168-13 ( Part II)

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A post by Petre Jordens. For Part I go to Dominican Republic: one year after ruling Nr. 168-13 (Part I)

In an editorial for Dominican daily Hoy titled ‘UNHCR― a mirror of the truth that we wish to deny,’

Marien Aristy Capitán reflects on the first anniversary of ruling 168-13 of the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic. For the original text (in Spanish), visit http://hoy.com.do/acnur-espejo-de-una-realidad-que-queremos-tapar.

The Birthday came without cards, candles or cake. Those that celebrated it, if any, did so in the privacy of their vileness and allowed the date to pass without sounding the drum of their disgrace.

Tuesday, September 23, marked the first anniversary of ruling 168-13 which stripped the nationality from thousands of Dominicans of foreign undocumented parentage who were born here before the Constitution of 2010 came into force and changed the criteria for granting nationality.

Today, one year after that sad memorable occasion, our society remains divided and clouded by the issue. Therefore, in an effort at ‘nationalist heroism,’ some have now asked that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) leave the country, without realizing that in making this request, we are incriminating ourselves. Why does their work bother us so much, when all they have done is defend the right to nationality of those people from whom we have stolen it? Yes, I know they will say that they are not Dominicans. In that case, however, we could say that they are refugees seeking in the Dominican Republic what they would never have in ‘their country’: a homeland.

The work of the UNHCR and of Gonzalo Vargas Llosa [Head of the UNCHR mission in the Dominican Republic] has bothered many. And it could not be otherwise: in this place, which they insist on calling a country, we have always pretended that we can screw others without anyone protesting. How could we possibly forgive a foreigner who reveals the miserable way in which we treat our own? It is for that reason, for unmasking us, that they want to punish the UNCHR.

Posted by: lisaparavisini | September 29, 2014

Dominican Republic: one year after ruling Nr. 168-13 (Part I)

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A post by Peter Jordens.

As the international press paid little or no attention to the first anniversary of the infamous ruling Nr. 168-13 of the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic, here is an article by Annay Mercedes of the Dominican 7 Días.

Dressed in black, and protecting themselves from the sun with umbrellas of the same color, as a sign of mourning, dozens of Dominicans of Haitian descent mounted a civil protest against the Constitutional Court on the occasion of the first anniversary of ruling 168-13 which denationalized tens of thousands of them. The ruling determines that the children of persons illegally residing in the country from 1929 to date do not possess the Dominican nationality.

The mostly young protesters carried banners which showed some of the articles of the Dominican Constitution that are violated by the ruling, including Articles 74, 110, 184, 5 and 26. […] Ana María Belique spokeswoman of the Reconoci.do movement, said: “This September 23 marks one year of the Constitutional Court ruling that killed my right.” She also said that “we are all here because our documentation has been kidnapped by the Central Electoral Board.” [The Central Electoral Board also serves as the Civil Registry of the Dominican Republic.] She stated that the Constitutional Court “has failed, broken, violated and infringed upon the rights of Dominicans who are descendents of foreigners”. With respect to the Regularization Plan, Belique said: “That plan is for foreigners and we are not foreigners.” [According to the UN, the Regularization Plan, based on Ruling 169-14, has benefitted only about 1% of those affected by ruling 168-13; see http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2014/09/23/i173023_menos-beneficiado-ley-sobre-naturalizacion-segun-onu.html]. She revealed that “the Central Electoral Board continues its witch hunt, visiting the homes of people seeking documentation even of their grandparents.” Meanwhile Rosa Iris Diendom, representing the Dominican@s por Derecho Coalition, said “it has been a very difficult year, and it is even worse because of ruling 169-14 which requires applicants to register in a special registry, which amounts to segregation.”

Another group of people were gathered between the Constitutional Court and the Central Electoral Board carrying Dominican flags and banners that read: “The fatherland is to be respected, honored and defended. Period.” On behalf of them spoke María Jaquéz, who identified herself as a lawyer. She declared that “it is disrespectful that people who are not Dominicans are opposing our laws and rulings.” She said “that whosoever wants to claim nationality must prove that they are legal.” She added that President Medina has created a “humane route” to nationalize the descendants of Haitians. […]

After about half an hour a commission headed by Horacio Rodríguez of Centro Bonó [a Jesuit educational organization] went into the building of the Constitutional Court to submit a document with reflections on what has happened during this first year since the ruling. Roque Félix, also from Centro Bonó, said: “On this day we commemorate a pain with an act against the hegemony of those who think that they can violate the rights of those least able.”

The activity ended with the protesters singing to the rhythm of drums and calabash ― a meringue saying: “I am Dominican and I will not deny it. I was born in this land and I will not leave.”

For the complete, original article (in Spanish), go to http://www.7dias.com.do/portada/2014/09/23/i172993_dominicanos-desnacionalizados-luto-frente-otra-acera-los-neonacionalistas.html.

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