The Dominican Republic – Haiti Divide

Author: Regina Paulose

Most sad chapters in history involve a mix of bad (or an absence of) law and a tyrant. In 1930, Rafeal Leonidas Trujillo became the dictator of the Dominican Republic (DR). In October 1937, he ordered the massacre of thousands of Haitians (estimates range between 9,000 to 30,000 civilians). Dominican soldiers were ordered to carry a sprig of parsley and ask people to say the word “parsley” in Spanish. Those who could not pronounce the word paid the price by being hacked to death with machetes or through other violent methods. The U.S. Ambassador to the DR labeled it “a systematic campaign of extermination.” Bodies of Haitian’s were dumped in what became known as “Massacre River.” These events became known as the “Parsley Massacres” or “El Corte.” Continue reading