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Haiti recalls diplomat to Dominican Republic after three migrants beaten, burned to death
ALFRED de MONTESQUIOU
Associated Press Writer
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haiti recalled its top diplomat to the Dominican Republic on Thursday after three Haitian migrants were beaten and burned to death in an attack that has added to growing tensions between the uneasy Caribbean neighbors.
The three men, ranging from 19 to 22 years old, were attacked Aug. 16 near the Dominican capital, Santo Domingo, where they worked, Dominican police said.
According to the Dominican Attorney General's Office, they had been drinking with a group of Dominicans who later demanded money. When turn down, the Dominicans attacked the Haitians, doused them with a flammable liquid and set them ablaze. The men died days later.
In response to the killings, Haiti
recalled its charge d'affaires "for consultation," said Jean Daniel Lafontant, a spokesman for Haiti's Foreign Ministry.
"The Haitian interim government energetically condemns these criminal acts. It deplores that such deeds have occurred at a time when significant efforts are being made to lastingly improve relations between the two countries," a Foreign Ministry statement said.
The Dominican National Police said Thursday it had formed a commission to investigate the attack and find the killers.
In May, the Dominican government deported at least 2,000 Haitians following the killing of a Dominican woman. No one was arrested the slaying, but Dominican neighbors went on a retaliatory rampage, beheading two Haitian migrants.
Although Haitian migrants are considered a burden in a country whose own citizens flee poverty by the thousands each year, Dominican farm owners often truck in Haitians to work in the fields, saying they need the cheap labor.
Associated Press w
riter Jose Monegro contributed to this story from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.