Hate in the Time of Cholera

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Title: Hate in the Time of Cholera How the 2010 Cholera Outbreak in Haiti Threatened La Raza Dominicana
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Wisman, Liza Pence
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2012
Publication Date: 2012


Subjects / Keywords: Haiti
Dominican Republic
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: This thesis explores the effects of how Dominican national identity is defined based on its shared history and relationship with Haiti. Colonial differences, racial tensions and the threat of Haitian invasion have led to a Dominican society where race and/or ethnicity is linked to culture. La raza dominicana describes how Dominicans see themselves as white, Spanish speaking Catholic. To Dominicans, Haitians represent the opposite; they are black, of African descent, speak Creole, and practice Voodoo. Dominican identity has created the ideology of anti-Haitianism where Haitians are represented as an inferior "race" and culture, portraying them as uncivilized and immoral. This thesis aims to explain how this antagonistic relationship developed and how anti-Haitianism has been able to remain a widespread sentiment in Dominican society. Images of Haitians in Dominican culture are applied to how Haitians were represented during the cholera outbreak of 2010. Articles from two popular Dominican newspapers are analyzed to determine whether anti-Haitianism changed a health issue into one of politics, race, and discrimination. Theories are used from studies done by anthropologist Charles Briggs. Briggs has studied how pre-existing racialized representations of an ethnic or social group has led to discourses during an epidemic that portray these populations as uncivilized and diseased.
Statement of Responsibility: by Liza Pence Wisman
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2012
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Labrador-Rodriguez, Sonia

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Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2012 W8
System ID: NCFE004690:00001

Permanent Link:

Material Information

Title: Hate in the Time of Cholera How the 2010 Cholera Outbreak in Haiti Threatened La Raza Dominicana
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Wisman, Liza Pence
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2012
Publication Date: 2012


Subjects / Keywords: Haiti
Dominican Republic
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: This thesis explores the effects of how Dominican national identity is defined based on its shared history and relationship with Haiti. Colonial differences, racial tensions and the threat of Haitian invasion have led to a Dominican society where race and/or ethnicity is linked to culture. La raza dominicana describes how Dominicans see themselves as white, Spanish speaking Catholic. To Dominicans, Haitians represent the opposite; they are black, of African descent, speak Creole, and practice Voodoo. Dominican identity has created the ideology of anti-Haitianism where Haitians are represented as an inferior "race" and culture, portraying them as uncivilized and immoral. This thesis aims to explain how this antagonistic relationship developed and how anti-Haitianism has been able to remain a widespread sentiment in Dominican society. Images of Haitians in Dominican culture are applied to how Haitians were represented during the cholera outbreak of 2010. Articles from two popular Dominican newspapers are analyzed to determine whether anti-Haitianism changed a health issue into one of politics, race, and discrimination. Theories are used from studies done by anthropologist Charles Briggs. Briggs has studied how pre-existing racialized representations of an ethnic or social group has led to discourses during an epidemic that portray these populations as uncivilized and diseased.
Statement of Responsibility: by Liza Pence Wisman
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2012
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Labrador-Rodriguez, Sonia

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2012 W8
System ID: NCFE004690:00001

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HATE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA: HOW THE 2010 CHOLERA OUTBREAK IN HAITI THREATENED LA RAZA DOMINICANA BY LIZA PENCE WISMAN A thesis Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts under the sponsorship of Dr. Sonia Labrador Rodrguez Sarasota, Florida May, 2012


Abstra ct This thesis explores the effects of how Dominican national identity is defined based on its shared history and relationship with Haiti. Colonial differences, racial tensions and the threat of Haitian invasion have led to a Dominican society where race an d/or ethnicity is linked to culture. La raza dominicana describes how Dominicans see themselves as white, Spanish speaking Catholic. To Dominicans, Haitians represent the opposite; they are black, of African descent, speak Creole, and practice Voodoo. Domi nican identity has created the ideology of anti Haitianism where Haitians are represented as an inferior "race" and culture, portraying them as uncivilized and immoral. This thesis aims to explain how this antagonistic relationship developed and how anti H aitianism has been able to remain a widespread sentiment in Dominican society. Images of Haitians in Dominican culture are applied to how Haitians were represented during the cholera outbreak of 2010. Articles from two popular Dominican newspapers are ana lyzed to determine whether anti Haitianism changed a health issue into one of politics, race, and discrimination. Theories are used from studies done by anthropologist Charles Briggs. Briggs has studied how pre existing racialized representations of an eth nic or social group has led to discourses during an epidemic that portray these populations as uncivilized and diseased.


3 Table of Contents T able of Contents ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 3 Acknowledgements ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 4 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 5 Chapter I:Origins of Anti Haitianism ................................ ................................ ............ 9 Chapter II: Racialization of Disease and the Power of Communication .................... 34 Chapter III: Article Analysis ................................ ................................ ........................ 5 5 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 7 4 Appendix ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 47 Bibliography ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 7 7


4 Acknowledgements I would like to thank Professor Sonia Labrador Rodrg ue z for having faith in me and supporting me throughout this whole process, even while on leave. S onia, you were beyond an adviser/sponsor and I am so grateful to have been able to work with you. T o Professor Jos A. Portugal and Professor Charla Bennaji : T hank you for being on my committee and for being amazing professors. To my family : Thank you for s upporting me thr oughout my New College journey. To my friends Reggie, Ruth ie Allegra, Stacy, Manna, Hann ah (s) Ashley, Lizzie, Emma, MT, Sa ra h( s) Be n, L in ds a y, Cammie Lou, Jillian, Sydnor, Kaitlin, Nicole, Jess ica, Victoria, Vlad, Casey, Knitty, et c : ALL OF THE LOVE In lov ing memory of my sweet Ellie.


5 Introduction Haiti and the Dominican Republic are the two countries that share the island of Hispaniola. Although geograph ically close, Dominican culture has created a substantial distance from their neighbor, especially in terms of national identity. Through a national identity based on ethnicity and race, combined with the effort of selecting their ancestry, Dominicans rely heavily on hispanidad to define and distinguish themselves from Haitians. Dominicans not only see themselves as a different nationality than Haitians, but as a different race as well. The term la raza dominicana or "the Dominican race," refers to how Dom i nicans see themselves as wh ite, Spanish speaking Catholics whereas in their minds, Haitians represent the opposite; they are black, of African descent, speak Creole and practice Voodoo. Overall the Dominican identity is based in the ideology of anti Haiti anism, where to be Dominican is to not be Haitian (Wigginton, 51). The complexity of the Dominican ave allowed anti Haitianism to thrive in Dominican culture. The key to understanding the animosity felt towards Haiti is not only to know how this particular antagonizing ideology formed but how it has managed to remain a significant component of Dominican culture. I first became interested in Haiti after having the opportunity to volunteer in a clinic in Grison Garde, a small city in Northern Haiti just outside of the port city, Cap Hatien I was enamored by Haiti's unique history and rich culture of Sp anish, African and French roots. At that time, I was unaware of the bitter relationship that the Dominican Republic had with its neighbor; however, I found out two years later after reading a book entitled, La isla al revs (1983), written by a former pres ident of


6 the Dominican Republic, Joaqun Balaguer. In this book, which I will discuss further in Chapter I, Balaguer briefly explained the history of a nti Haitianism, why he believed Haitians were inferior to Dominicans and la raza dominicana and the justi fications behind these feelings. Many of his issues surrounded health, morality and civilization. I decided to take these aspects discussed by Balaguer and apply it to a modern issue involving Haitians in the Dominican Republic, the 2010 cholera outbreak. My thesis aims to demonstrate whether or not the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti became another justification for the anti Haitian sentiment in the Dominican Republic. My hypothesis is that the Dominican Republic presented the outbreak of cholera as anoth er way to represent Haitians as a threat to la raza dominicana focusing on the popular image of Haitians as diseased, uncivilized and pre modern. In my first chapter I will discuss the history of the two nations, and how the relationship between them beca me one of animosity. This chapter is crucial to my thesis because it is necessary for the basis of my hypothesis and allows the reader to understand what specific events motivated a Dominican national identity based on being "not Haitian." Since colonial t imes the Dominican Republic has had Haiti (or Saint Domingue) as a neighbor, but a cultural difference has always existed between the two nations, despite who was the leader of either. Haitians stemmed from a French colony, and Dominicans, although at one point a French colony as well, claim their Spanish roots. I will demonstrate how this sentiment has been deeply embedded in the conscious of Dominicans, whether they realize it or not. The reality of the situation is that anti Haitianism has existed for so long that it is difficult to imagine the feeling to ever fully disappear from the Dominican identity. Nevertheless, this perpetuating and perhaps everlasting sentiment has been used and abused by individuals in the


7 government for their own benefit because they were able to utilize this common thread to manipulate the Dominican people. Chapter II will discuss my methods for analyzing how the cholera outbreak was represented in the Dominican media, as well as how these narratives were interpreted by the Dom inican public. My methods are based on the theories of Charles L. Briggs, a medical anthropologist who analyzed how a cholera outbreak in Venezuela represented the minority indigenous group to be uncivilized and unsanitary by targeting them as the cause o f the disease. Briggs' research helps to explain why the Dominican public reacted in certain ways to narratives in the media. This involves the power of communication, the authoritative knowledge source during an epidemic, and how that knowledge is spread in the public. Furthermore, Briggs discusses how pre existing racialized representations and stereotypes become more powerful when they were used in discourse surrounding epidemics. The research Briggs has done is extremely useful to my thesis because he a nalyzes a situation very similar to the one on the island of Hispaniola: the existence of a minority ethnic group (on the Dominican side), an epidemic and pre existing racial tensions. I will use his methods to see whether or not pre existing representatio ns of Haitians became part of discourse surrounding the cholera outbreak, linking Haitians with disease. In this chapter, I will also discuss the events of the cholera outbreak in Haiti. This provides the reader with a factual representation of the outbrea k and how and why it occurred in Haiti before the discussion of narratives from the Dominican Republic. My last chapter will provide the material to support my hypothesis. It will involve analyzing newspaper articles on the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti, taken from two national Dominican newspapers, Listn Diario and El Nacional I will discuss how these articles created a certain image of Haitians which in turn reminded


8 the Dominican public of the Haitian threat to la raza dominicana I will demonstrate how authorities have been able to maintain this threat by reminding the Dominican public of their superiority to Haitians and referring to problems that Haitian immigration has caused and remains to cause in the country. This refers to how elites have cons tantly used this common thread shared by Dominicans to manipulate them into supporting ideas and policy changes that eliminate the presence of Haitians in the Dominican Republic. Furthermore, I will use images in the media to analyze how Dominicans and Hai tians were visually distinguished, and whether or not these images showed, and visually reminded the Dominican public of their superiority and the uncivilized characteristics of Haitians.


9 Chapter I : Origins of Anti Haitianis m Colonial Beginnings and Haitian Independence Hispaniola was a Spanish colony up until 1697 when the western part of the island was ceded to France through the Treaty of Ryswick creating two colonies on one island Spanish Santo Domingo in the east and French Saint Domingue in the w est ( Logan, 30) The French took advantage of importing a large amount of slaves from Africa and the colony prospered with profitable plantations. On the Spanish side of the island, the economy did not depend as much on agriculture and the slave p opulation was significantly lower (Ferguson, 19) By the late 1700 s the French with a mulatto population developing. Tensions had been gr owing between the white elites and the large population of slaves an d in 1791 a revolt against the free population was led by fugitive slaves. V iolence against slave holders spread throughout the colony, whites were killed with machetes onc e used as t ools for plantations. S laves burned down plantations with hopes to never have to work on them again. The news of the slave revolt spread to Santo Domingo, creating an image of the b lack slaves as bloodthir s ty s avages (Logan, 89 ). The revolt eventually forc ed France to abolish slavery in Saint Domingue in 1793. Tw o years later Spain ceded the Santo Domingo to France through the Treaty of Basel. With the French busy settling in the eastern pa rt of the island, the French army was relying heavily on former sla ves to watch over Saint Domingue In 17 97 the French army promoted Toussaint Louverture, one of the strong black leaders during the slave revolt to General de Divisin which upset the mula tto po pulation in Saint Domingue. The mulattos did not like t he idea that Louverture was a former sla ve This caused a civil war to break out in 1799 between the blacks and the mulattos, with


10 the mulattos eventually being defeated. The civil war had caused a downfall in the economy of the western side of the island. The next year Louverture was establishe d Governor and Commander in Chief of the French Army in Saint Domingue with hopes to restore the economy back t o where it once had flourished (M oya Pons, 170 1). On January 26, 1801 Toussaint Louverture decided to invade the eastern part of the island. He landed in Santo Domingo and pr oceeded to unify the island and promote that the island was indivisible. He organize d a plan for agricultural exports and most importantly, abolished slavery. Louverture went back and forth between the two colonies due to the fact that he was still trying to reorganize Saint Domingue He also hoped for diplomatic respect from Napoleon who was t he leader in France at the time (Moya Pons, 173) However Napoleon had his own agenda which was to conquer Europe and expand his colon ies. He saw Louverture as a threat to his colony and decided to send over a fleet of 58,000 French troops to take back the island from the former slaves When the troops arrived, Louverture was forced out of Santo Domingo and another war broke out, this ti me between the form er slaves and the French army. Louverture ended up falling prisoner to the French army but his supporters were still enraged and ready to fight. With Lieutenant Jean Jacques Dessalines as the new leader, the black army burned down cities and fought for their freedom from France. The war came to an end in December of 1803 after much of the French army had died from yellow fever. On January 1, 1804 Dessalines declared independence from France, naming the new nation Haiti after what the ind igenous po pulation had called the land. On that day, Haiti became the first independent black republic (Moya Pons, 174)


11 After Louverture had been forced out of power in Santo Domingo, the French troops had re established slavery The Haitian independence w as a shock to the Dominican 1 elites who now shared an island with a nation run by former slaves which increased the threat of having slavery abolished in Santo Domingo yet again colony sympathized with the French and not with the former sl aves of Haiti (Moya Pons, 197) In the society of Santo Domingo it was imperative for the mulattos to be seen as the social status of a white European. For this reason, the term blanco de la tierra was created to describe Dominicans or the Spanish creoles of the colony. Besides the negative connotation of being black that stemmed from poor relations with their Haitian neighbors, this stigma was also brought over when Canary islanders had come to island in the late 18 th century to help the then Spanish colony avoid an intrusion from France as well as reintroduce more Hispanic families into the population. The Canary islanders were accustomed to assuming that people of color were slaves or at least inferior, and at first were reluctant to associate with the majority mulatto population. Due to this migration of the Canary islanders, the mulattos began to associate more as Hispanic and also considere d themselves white (Moya Pons, 197). T he fear Santo Domingo ha d of the new black republic was somewhat realized when the self proclaimed leader, General Dessalines invaded the east and le d a ser ies of attacks on Santo Domingo. However, the troops retreated once they heard false rumors of the French returning to Haiti. Nevertheless, anti Haitian ism was escalating in the Santo Domingo especially since Dessalines ordered his men to loot Dominican towns on the journey back to Haiti (Howard, 27). Louverture and Dessalines had 1 From here forward, Dominicans refer to citizens of Santo Domingo (later the Dominican Republic).


12 th century that still haunt Dominicans today. Haitian Occupat ion in the Dominican Republic ( 1 822 1844) The next event that con tinued the anti Haitian sentiments in Santo Domingo occurred when Haiti occ upied the Dominican Republic from 1822 to 1844. The eastern side of the island had been restored back to a Spanish colony in 1808 after Napoleon decided to make his brother King of Spain. This decision disrupted the harmony between the French and Spanis h i nhabitants of Santo Domingo and caused several revolts (Moya Pons, 204). Twelve years later the colony fought for its (first) independence. on November 30, 182 preoccupation with a new reign and their own revolution. At the time Nez de Cceres was hoping that the new s tate would join Greater Colombia; h owever it was not long bef ore this plan was disrupted by the Preside nt of Haiti, Jean Pierre Boyer. Boyer took advantage of the new nation and decided to write a letter to the new head of state expressing his concern that two independent states could not thrive on one island. Furthermore he indicated Nez de Cceres realized that the mulatto population would support this idea and decided to place themselves under the protection of th e laws of the Republic of Haiti (Fi scher, 149) Although the transfer of power was peaceful and desired by the majority of inhabitants, there was still a small population of white e lites that did not support this transition. They did not agree with a mulatto leader, nor with the placement of many Ha itians in the administration. M any white elites eventually fled


13 the island during the occupation ( Fischer, 170) wanted to do twenty years before. After reintroducing he abolished slavery and reformed land distribution, promising land to former slaves. It was not long before problems arose concerning the new land title policies. Boyer had completely taken away a ny entitlement that former landowners had under Dominican law in the past. In Santo Domingo, l andowners saw their land being divid ed and distributed and many saw their land given away to former slaves. icultural exports had back fired; he had created a population of small landowners which caused a shortage of la bor on plantations and le d to the state gettin g less money from income taxes (Fischer, 150) The downfall of ngly predictable when he introduced the Rural Code as a response to the extreme labor shortage issue. The Rural Code pre vented workers from leaving plantation s without permission, which basically created another form of forced labor (Fischer, 150) Overal l Boyer struggled to enforce the code and only created more tension and unfavorable opinions towards his government. He furthered independence recognized by France. In order to pay back France for diplomatic r ecognition B oyer had to impose a special tax. Dominicans were outraged that they had to pay a tax that was going towards the recognition of a country to which they had neither loyalty nor emotional connection. Furthermore, the tax caused a hug e financial crisis. O pposition towards Haiti began to spread throughout the e astern part of the island (Fischer, 151) Instead of uniting the island into one great nation Boyer had actually


14 produced an atmosphere where the Dominican Republic was able to gain indepen dence. The abolishment of slavery had been a necessary term for independence in the Dominican Republic due to the desires of the mulatto population. who became the main voice of Dominican revolut ion. Finally, Boyer had created a military force which gav e power to the revolutionaries (Fischer, 151) On July 16, 1838, Juan Pablo Duarte founded La Trinitaria, a secret society of nine revolutionaries who desired independence from Haiti. About six year s later on February 27, 1844, the revolutionaries were strong enough to seize the fortress of Puerta del Conde in Santo Domingo city, causing the Haitian commander to surrender the next day an d ending the Haitian occupation (Logan, 33) Although the occupa tion was something the newly independent Dominicans had wanted at first, the experience caused a resentment that would continue into contemporary Dominican culture. Many justifications of the anti Haitian sentiment in the Dominican Republic cite this tempo rary period of Haitian rule as an example of why Haiti should be seen as a threat to Dominican culture and sovereignty. A peaceful occupation became Historia de Santo Domingo (1978), Dominican author Jacinto Gimbern ard does not refer to to blacken the Dominican population and to destroy the culture which it has proudly icans (Torres Saillant, 1101) The writings of Pedro Francisco Bo n a Dominican lawyer who lived through the birth of the Dominican Republic after its independence from Haiti, portray the aftermath of the occupation as an atmosphere where the country had to verify and validate its existence through the defiance of Haiti. He expresses the


15 undamental, indestructible antagonism between the two people s (San Miguel, 46 48 ) Such a significant amount of resentment was built up from the occupati on that Dominicans now associate and celebrate their independence from Haiti instead of from Spain (Wucker, 81) After its independence from Haiti, the Dominican government appealed to the tes sent U.S. special agents to investigate the appeal and e nded up rejecting it on account of a lar ge percent of the population being mulatto (Wigginton, 53) The fact that the Dominican Republic was rejected as a white nation a year after the occupation by a republic of former slaves, added on to the bitterness that already existed towards Haiti. It became The Dominican Republic has dealt with the effects of having their sovereignty taken through either colonialism or imperialism, making a solid nationhood difficult to pursue and providing them with a history that they would rather forget. The proximity of Haiti to the Dominican Republic, and the social/economic relationship that c omes with this proximit y provokes Haiti to be Sharing the island makes denying the past a challenging tas k and Dominicans instead rely on demonization and racism to cope with the scars of their history. Struggling with invasion was the basis for form ing a national identity for Dominicans and the Haitian "threat" only encourages Dominicans to maintain the ir image and identity of hispanidad (Fischer, 134) The Trujillo Era Buenaventura Baez, a wea lthy mulatto landowner, expressed his concern for the new nation and stated his


16 doubt that its independence would last. He wanted th e protection of a foreign power (Logan, 33) Independence from Haiti lasted for seventeen years until the state was in absol ute need of a foreign power to help them from the violence and political disagreement caused by two generals constantly struggling for control The Dominican Repu blic was ceded to Spain in 1861, however another revolution broke out and Dominican nationalis ts and Spanish sympathizers fought in the War of Restoration (Howard, 28) At the time Spain was not financially secure enough to fight a war and eventually decided to leave the island leading to the Dominican Republic declaring its third and final i ndepen dence in 1865 (Logan, 41 43) T he Do minican economy began to focus o n the sugar industry while the Haitian economy became worse. Haitians began to come to the Dominican Republic during the sugarcane harvest to work for extremely low wages. With the boom o f the sugar industry, the plantations were in desperate need of more immigrants because the Dom Dominicans refused to do the job, they complained o f the increase of Haitians who dec ided to stay all year round instead of return ing home during the off season (Ferguson, 10) In 1931 Rafael Lenidas Trujillo became dictator o f the Dominican Republic and the anti Haitian propaganda be gan to spread through out the entire country The batey es the area where the braceros ( temporary cane cutters ) lived, were full of sick, illiterate and undocumented Haitians because the Dominican government did not provide them with pap ers, education nor medical care (Ferguson, 4) Due to their conditions, t hey were seen as uncivilized and less than human creatures th at spread diseases (Holmes, 40) Trujillo used these images to propagandize these Haitians as the enemy who, through immigration, were slowly trying to force their way into the


17 Dominican Republic to eventually take over once more (Howard, 29) Allowing Haitians into the Dominican Republic was a threat not only to la raza dominicana but also to the public health and morality of the country. Trujillo used fear to promote and spread his anti Haitian sentiments. Those who did not agree with his anti Haitian ideas were seen as siding with the ene my and deserved equal punishment (Holmes, 34) Haitian sentiments are more complex than just his fear of the contamination of the Dominican race. Much of his resentment comes from status and furthermore, he is of mixed background due to his grandmother being Haitian. As a child Trujillo had a fasci nation with appearance. He was particular with clothing and had a fixation for military decorations that lead him to a career in the armed forces (Roorda, 21) His rise to power was motivated by his obsession to be a part of the elitism that ran the countr y. With only the formal education of a fourth grader, Trujillo was given his chance to move up in society when the U.S. Marines occupied the Domin ican Republic from 1916 to 1924 (Logan, 68). His uncle had been a drinking partner of Major James L. McLean of the U.S. Marine Corps, and through this connection in 1919, he was recommended for the position of li eutenant in the national police (Logan, 69). His training under the U.S. Marine Corps taught him discipline and organization and in 1927, due to hard wor k and dedication, he was promoted to G eneral of the Polica Nacional Dominicana by President Horacio Vsquez Upon receiving his new position he changed the name from police to army, making him the leader of the Ejrcito Nacional Dominicano (Roorda, 22) Even though he was the general of the army, Trujillo was still judged by Dominican society for his mixed background. In 1928, he was rejected from


18 becoming a member of the aristocratic Club Unin which angered him to the point o f divorcing his wife and marr ying Bienvenida Ricardo, of a well respected family, in order to gain entry into the club. His need to be accepted by society provoked him to manipulate his social p osition and reject his origins (Logan, 69). In 1930 a revolt against President Vsque z led Trujillo to be elected president that same year. When a hurricane struck Santo Domingo city in September killing 2,000 people, Tr ujillo saw the disaster as an opportunity to demo nstrate his power to the vulnerable nation in order to maintain control In fact, due to the Great Depression in the U.S. the Dominican Republic had also been suffering from unemployment. The state of the country allowed Trujillo to present himself with a heroic image by startin g a campaign for reconstructing the country. His campaign proved to be successful and he was re elected in 1934. With signs that he had gained an authoritative status in the country, Trujillo began his manipulations In 1936 while Trujillo was supposedly away on vacation Congress changed the name of t he capital from Santo Domingo to Cuidad Trujillo, stating that they had received a petition from 600,000 ci tizens wanting the name change (Logan, 70) This was a clear way for Trujillo to look up to him as a respected figure. Trujillo began to use his status as a way to avenge anyone wh o had ever wronged him. By 1938, the majority of his opponents and enemies had been imprisoned, killed, or forced to seek exile unless they subjected to declaring th eir avid support for him. That same year he did not allow any other party to vote i n the elections besides his own, therefore assuring himself an automatic victory Three year s later he c hanged the constitution to permit him to have a five year term. In o rde r to mask his abuse of power with the face of democracy, he decided to tolerate


19 two opposition parties in the election of 1947, even though he ended up winning with over 90% of the votes. The next two elections in 1952 and 1957 Gener al Hector Trujillo won the presidency. This was another way for Trujillo to control the country and maintain his power without seeming to over abuse the law. His brother was a puppet that continued his dictatorship and absolute rule (Logan, 71) Rafa el Trujill to fortify Hispanic national identity. The 19 th century threat of the Haitian army invading the Dominican Republic with force had vanished and the new 20 th century threat w as later to be a invasin pac fica 2 domination through immigration (Holmes, 33) Trujillo sought the border because he saw the Haitian presence as the reason for the poverty and disorder in the region, as well as a peril to the Dominican national ident ity he was promoting. In the border region the Dominicans were less susceptible to the anti Haitian propaganda and Haitians and Dominicans l ived together without problems (Augelli, 34) The border was populated with rayanos or people of bot h Haitian and D ominican descent giving the residents a bi cultural identity. Many Dominicans living there had adopted aspects of the Haitian culture; they spoke Creole or a patois of Spanish and Creole, indulged in Voodoo and even used the Haitian gourde for currency (H oward, 157) These characteristics of nation, therefore contaminati ng the morality of Dominicans This fear would continue on into Dominican society today, when a cholera outbreak in Haiti reminded Dominicans of the cultural problems in the border region due to the presence of Haitian immigrants. 2 the p eaceful invasion (from here forward all translations are my own)


20 Trujillo had established a n official border with Haiti through an agreement in 1936 and wanted the area to be politically, soc ially and economically integrated with the rest of the nation through a series of m ethods. began with t he 1937 massacre of the Haitians. The week before the massacre, Trujillo sent his army to find and attack Haitians through out the country, making sure not to harm the Haitians that Trujillo had hired himself to work on the sugar plantations. His forces even went after Haitians that were technically Dominicans by birth and had lived in the country their entire life. Following the deportation or killing of the estimated 25,000 Haitians were killed. The soldiers mostly used machetes to make it look like the incident had occurred between Dominican peasants and Haitian cattle thieves, however some were strangled and many children had been hit with rocks or thrown against tree trunks (Roorda, 131) Due to the fact that Dom inicans and Haitians lived on the border together and there was a mixture of cultures, T rujillo ordered the army to Haitian were asked to say the word supposed Haitians pronounced the Spanish word with a French r they were automatical ly killed. The irony of t his situation was that Trujillo was trying to get rid of the Haitian presence in the Dominican Republic even though he hired thousands of Haitians to work in the country each year because the economy w a s dependent on the cheap labo r (Holmes, 37 38) Despite the hypocrisy of the situation Truj illo saw himself as a savior. He who he constructed as disease ridden, morally deficient and weakening the su ccesses of the Dominic an nation (Wucker, 81) Trujillo made Dominicans feel this way about Haitians as well through his process of creating a strong Hispanic national identity


21 and by educating the youth to see Haitians as the enemy. In an example from a textbook used during his regime, Haiti is portrayed as a country with no worth or value: Haiti is inhabited by a mob of savage Africans. We Dominicans should be in debt to our blood. The Haitian is an enemy. Haitians should be transferred to French Guyana or to Africa. The Domi nican race and civilization are s uperior to that of Haiti. Haiti has no importance in the world. The poorest sectors o f the Haitian population are an ethnic group incapable of evolution and progress (Howard, 38) Sentiments like these promoted the thoug ht that the infiltration of Haitians into the Dominican population would Dominican nation and race. After decimating the Haitian population living on the border, he ordered the construction of Catholic churches as well as schools that would teach Spanish to the eliminated immigration and trade with Haiti (with the exception of the braceros during the sugarcane harvest) by es tablishing a military presence to enforce the laws in the border. Next he constructed highways to make travel to the capital more accessible and prevent the border population from being isolated from the Dominican nationalism that Trujillo had been promoti ng throughout the rest of the country (Augelli, 27) Eastern Europe, Italy and Jap a n to relocate to these regions (Howard, 157) itical tension and instability in Haiti due to the laws against immigration and trade (Augelli, 34) Nevertheless, Haitian migration was and is still the main component to the sugar industry in the Dominican Republic. The need for cheap labor was especial ly necessary after 1950 when Trujillo began to focus more on agricultural exports. He established new plantations and practically double d sugar production (Holmes, 39 )


22 nce basically disappeared and the border ret urned to having the peaceful occupation of Haitia ns and Dominicans (Augelli, 35) occurred, Haitians and s can actually coexis t It also shows the powerful effect that the elitist government had over Dominican thought. Since all Dominicans shared the same history as a nation Trujillo used the scars of the past to provoke fear in Dominicans and used it for his own advantage and p ersonal gain. Dominicans that did not live with Haitians were especially susceptible to this propaganda because they only knew Haitians through the stereotypes and images provided by the government. Trujillo regi me manipulated the once present indigenous population to justify the phenotype of the typical Dominican. The problem was that Trujillo needed to convince the nation that even though they were of color, they were different from Haitians. He had to somehow e liminate any trace of the African roots and find a way to explain the national mulatto complexion (Wigginton, 55) Since the indigenous population represented a non blackness that e regime b egan to use the word indio to describe someone of color in the Dominican Repu blic. To make it official, the term was added to the category of skin color on the Dominican national identification card and remains there tod ay (Torres Saillant, 1104) Although almost all of the indigenous population w ere killed off within the first century of colonialism, Dominicans of all classes still today use the term indio to avoid any connotations to a black race which would relate them to Haiti Contemporary Dominican ide ntity uses the indigenous past in order to shield and deny any notion of African heritage (Howard, 21)


23 The use of the word indio as a racial term also demonstrates how the Dominican culture's idea of "race" is skewed. For Dominicans, la raza dominicana i mplies race, nationality and/or cultural traits of Dominicans. In this sense, nationality and ethnicity are associated with race; Dominicans are white and Haitians are black. This aspect of popular Dominican culture explains why in the 21st century, the me dia's association of Haitians with cholera allowed the disease to become racialized (Howard, 17). Joaqun Balaguer he had been violating human rights. Rafael Trujillo was a ssassi nated three months later. His brother continued as president but with growing international criticism and disapproval of the regime from the inter American Peace Committee, he stepped down in August of that year but not without making his vice president J oaqun Balaguer his successor 3 (Logan 71 ) Balaguer was a He ended up serving as the p resident of the Dominican Republic for seven (inconsecutive) t erms and had substantial i nfluence over the that Haitians were a significant threat to everything Dominican (Wucker, 80) Many people trusted him because although corrupt, he was able to further the indust rialization and modernization of the country creating a stable society (Boeker, 294) Although Balaguer had achieved considerable economic success during his first term he was not reelected in 1978 and the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano 3 Although he had been installed as preside other, he first took office in 1966 as a member of the Partido Reformista Social Cristiano (PRSC).


24 (PRD) took con trol of the government. Under Balaguer, t he country had been modernized but problems still remained. Unemployment was at a high rate which motivated the middle class to want more of a voice in m aking decisions. Balaguer had also repressed several human rig hts during his term such as the imprisonment or exile of union leaders and forced removal of the poor (Espinal, 115) However Balaguer remained in the government by becoming a member of Congress and still had substantial influence. Balaguer resumed power in 1986 after the country was disappointed by the PRD's failure to create a social democracy (Betances and Spalding, 14) Throughout his entire career he was known for his anti Haitian sentiments and his dedication to la raza dominicana In 1945, Balaguer defended and justified the massacre by stating, corrosion of national solidarity; voodoo, a kind of African animism of the lowest origins, became the preferred cult among Dominicans o f the border ar ea. The gourde replaced the a nti Christian customs, such as incestuous unions. We were about to be a bsorbed by Haiti. ( Quoted in Ferguson, 83 ) The Dominican people were submitted to these s entiments through the use of propaganda. A substantial amount of this propaganda was continued on from Trujillo and his message that Haitians we re immoral and full of disease (Wucker, 82) Balaguer expresses and justifies his a nti Haitianism in a book writ ten in 1983 called La isla al revs In the book Balaguer explains his feelings about the proximity of Haiti and the problem of the Haitian immigrants that were coming to the country each year to look f or work. Balaguer shows how Haitians threaten the Domi nican nationality and s tates what Haitians need to do in order to better their country in every


25 aspect. He justifies his bold opinion with the fact that the two countries share the same island but have distinct histories, cultures and economies. Anti Haiti country that had never had succ ess due to a black population (Diamond, 337) He had supported the Haitian massacre because he believed that Haitians negative ly influenced Dominicans Balag uer argues that la negritud of Haitians affects the morality of Dominicans and also affects the evolution of the Dominican Republic in the modern world. He believed that the savagery of Haitian culture is at least in part due to economic distress and under development The fact that Dominicans have defined themselves in relation to Haitians shows that they have been conditioned to reject their own negritud and African heritage (Torres Saillant, 1093) Balaguer rarely referred to Dominicans as white but rathe On the contrary, Haitians were always referred to by the color of their skin. Despite his blatant racist statements throughout the book and throughout all his political discourse, Balaguer refused to accept tha t racism existed in the Dominican Republic (Howard, 161) The chapters in La isla al revs link race (which implies culture) morality and health basically implying that the race of Haitians characterizes their morality and health He believes that Haiti ans contaminating the race, morality and health of the Dominican nation constitute a problem for the development of the Dominican Republic. In one of the essays e ntitled, solucin del problema 4 expl ains that in order to solve the problem of Haitians corrupting the health and morality of Dominicans, Haiti and Haitians must change on an economic, political and most importantly 4 The solution to the prob lem


26 ned by the social aspects endangering Dominican morality but believes change in the economy and in politics will lead to this necessary social change. He states, Cuando la gran mayora del pueblo haitiano llegue a ese punto en su evolucin, dando lugar a que en su seno se expanda el grupo de la f amilia d e tip o cristiano y a que desaparezcan las costumbres brbara s que hace n posib le la promiscuidad sexual y las uniones incestuosas, las mismas exigencias de su nuevo nivel d e vida crearn en Hait el obst culo preventivo necesario para que la poblacin no se desarro lle en proporciones alarmantes 5 (40) Balaguer believes the lack of family value and Christian morals causes Haitians to be promiscuous, leading to the problem of overpopulation. The issue of overpopulation and lack of solid families causes an increase of Haitians that migrate to the Dominican Republic, as well as spreading sexual diseases. Balaguer implies that a social change is needed so that Haitians will adopt Christian morals. These Chris tian values will promote an increase in families, therefore making it less likely for them to want to separate and leave their families behind in Haiti. It will also decrease the issue of promiscuity and thus the threat of overpopulation and spread of sexu al disease is eliminated. Balaguer stresses that these changes will benefit both nations. More stability in Haiti means that less Haitians will feel the need to come to the Dominican Republic reducing the "contamination" of the Dominican race, health and morality. 6 his argument about Haitian immigration and how the braceros that come every year are bringing diseases and infecting the D ominican people. He specifically says braceros para las factoras de azcar es la principal causante de la propagacin en 5 When the vast majority of the Haitian people get to that point in their evolution, resulting in the expansion of the Christian family and the disappearance of the barbaric customs that make sexual promiscuity and incestuous unions possible, the same demands of their new level of life will create in Haiti the preventative obstacle necessary for the population to not develop at alarming rates. 6 Haitian influence on health


27 nuestro pas de enfermedades tan deprimentes como la buba, la sfilis y la malaria 7 (43) He explains how the eliminada de nuestro [Dominican] medio 8 coffee with the help of Haitian labors. One particular passage of this essay is contradicting to the very essence o f his argument to why Haitians are a threat to Dominicans. He says : El autor de este ensayo posee estadsticas, obtenidas en fuentes rigurosamente oficiales, que ponen en evidencia que en comunes de la Provincia de Monte Plata, de cada cien haitianos que visitan el subcentro de salud de esa poblacin, por lo menos ochenta y siete de ellos se h allan afectados por la sfilis 9 (43) Firstly, his statistics lack sources or citations. He simply claims that he obtained them aking it sound legitimate, assuming the Dominican people will not question the most powerful man in the country at that time 10 Secondly, the fact that these Haitians are coming to health centers to be cured ey are savage, uncivilized, health care and treatment. Balaguer also blames the Haitians for contaminating the country with malaria, which according to him, had been eliminated from the Dominican Republic in the last ten years from when the essay was written in 1983. It is interesting that he points out that malaria had been eliminated, even though Haitians have been coming each year during the zafra 11 through a bilateral agre eme nt between the two countries (Ferguson, 58) The question arises that if Haitians were the cause 7 the employment of laborers for the sugar factories is the main cause of the spread of such depressing disease s buba, syphilis and malaria in our country 8 which has been almost eliminated from our (the Dominican)half 9 The author of this essay has statistics, carefully obtained from official sources, which demonstrate that in communities in the province of Monte Plata, of every one hundred Haitians who visit the health sub center of this population, at least eighty seven of them are affected with syphilis. 10 It is also worthy to note that over half the sources used in La isla al revs are from the 19 th century an d none of his sources are from after the year 1979. 11 sugarcane harvest


28 of the malaria problem, how was it able to be eradicated when thousands of Haitians were coming to the Dominican Republic each year and the bilateral agreement did not end until three years after his book was written. The fact that Balaguer lacked legitimate sources to support his argument only shows how he used his power to manipulate and provoke the Dominican people to use Haitians as scapegoats for Dominica n problems. During the decade that Balaguer wrote his book, the Dominican economy had switched from being fully based on the sugar industry to relying more on the man ufacturing industry and tourism. With the rise in tourism, there was also a rise of prosti tutio n and an increase in AIDS cases (Ferguson, 72) It is interesting to note that the same decade Balaguer is blaming Haitians for spreading sexually transmitted diseases tourism allowed for the increase of other foreign nationals besides Haitians in th e Dominican Republic. Perhaps Balaguer, a man eager for money, blamed these social costs on the common enemy of the nation, the Haitians, instead of this profitable industry. Although the Dominican economy was no longer solely based in the sugar industry, Haitians continued to be exploited for cheap labor. In 1991 the Dominican Republic received international attention on the issue of the mistreatment and abuse of Haitian laborers. There were several reports of human rights violations to which Balaguer re sponded by ordering the deport (Ferguson, 57) Balaguer deported all undocumented Haitian immigrants under the age of 16 or over the age of 60. By October more than 50,000 Haitians had been sent back to Haiti or had left voluntarily in order to avoid a forceful and violent encounter (Howard, 39) The next even t manipulate the minds of Dominican public with anti Haitian sentiment was a scandal that occurred during the 1994 election. Th e candidate represented by the PRD was a black man named Jos


29 Francisco Pea Gmez During the elections Balaguer made a campaign against him because of the color of his skin. Because his skin was black the Dominicans saw him hen (Wucker, 82 3) Through his propaganda, anti Haitianism spread into the media portraying Pea Gmez as a blood thirsty savage that craved power (Howard, 176) There was even one interview where Pea Gmez was depicted as the racist, the int erviewee claiming that Pea Gmez was trying to change his color by denying his Haitian herit age and by marrying a Dominican (Howard, 177) Balaguer won the election but not without controversy; there were indications of fraud. At the time the United State s was involved i n Haitian political affairs. Due to the Dominican Republic being next door, Washington did not want any more problems. The U.S. government encouraged Balaguer to create a Pact between the two parties which stated that Balaguer w as only allowed two years in office and another el ection would take place in 1996 ( Wucker, 80). In 1996 the Dominican Republic had its first fraud free election with the victory of Leonel Fernndez Reyna, the leader of the center left Dominican Liberat ion Party (PLD) (Howard, 161) Although the election was fraud free, the candidacy of Fernndez was endorsed by Balaguer (Wucker, 80) Balaguer was a product of the Trujillo era. Although he used his power in a less ruthless manner than Trujillo, Balaguer wa s equally authoritative. Throughout his career Balaguer had tried to fo rce Haitians out of the country and spread anti Haitian sentiments, especially through the media. In 1994 one newspaper headline stated that there were over a million Haitians in the D ominican Republic that desired Dominican citizenship, an obviously exaggerated statement that was used to provoke Dominicans (Howard, 173) The Dominican army under his power has b een suspected of abusing human rights by splitting up Haitian families and s ending them away to countries


30 other than Haiti where they had never lived. The army even illegally deported Haitians that had been born in the Dominican Republic, which under the constitution makes them Dominican citizens. Nevertheless nt had continued popular support. Many Dominicans say that Balaguer was a necessary evil because of his construction of a strong economy and the consolidation of a middle class (Howard, 39) Balaguer remained an influence to Dominican politics until his de ath in 2002 at the age of 96. Post Balaguer to present Leonel Fernndez was elected president again in 200 4 and in the most recent elections of 2008 making him the current president of the Dominican Republic. During his campaign he communicated that he w ould try to improve relations with Haiti yet deportations of Haitians happen freque ntly enoug h to suggest otherwise (Howard, 39) Statelessness has become an increasing problem for Haitians living in the Dominican Republic. Until recently the Dominican Co nstitution stated that anyone born on Dominican soil was granted citizenship with exception of diplomats and those Haitian nationalists who use this clause to deny the children of undocument ed Haitian immigrants, even though the children were born in the Dominican Republic. Furthermore, the government goes as far as to deport these children back to Haiti even though they should have bee n granted Dominican citizenship (Holmes, 3) In 2010, th e article concerning Dominican citizenship in the Constitution was amended under President Fernndez however not in the favor of immigrants. Citizenship is now only granted to people with at least one parent who has Dominican


31 citizenship This change in t he Constitution only worsened the matter of statelessness to the point where the Dominican government has even been questioned by the Inter Amer ican Commission on Human Rights (Holmes, 48 50) B esides the fact that people are left without a nation and id entity, another issue with statelessness is the lack of rights. Stateless people cannot obtain any form of legal document such as a passport or visa; they have no voice in the government because they cannot vote, they cannot set up bank accounts, and most importantly in this situation they cannot be legally employed. Without legal employment whoever decides to hire them can abuse their rights to the extreme, which is the situation for many of the braceros living in the bateyes. The braceros are not given proper safety gear which makes cane cutting extremely dangerous. The use of the machete to cut cane allows sharp pieces of cane to fly aimlessly; without safety goggles there is a high risk that the cane could cause an eye injury without gloves blisters and cuts are inevitable, and without proper footwear, or in some cases no footwear, the feet of the braceros are left exposed to sharp cane leaves and animals that live in the tall grass of the fields The conditions of the bateyes are no luxury; the brace ros live without any running water or electricity (Holmes, 17 18) The treatment and condition of the braceros has allowed the people who spread disease and promote the moral decay of the Domini can nation (Holmes, 40) The recent movement for the rights of Haitian s and Haitian Dominican s has actually been able to reduce the aggressive violent atmosphere characteristic of most bateyes Braceros were once not allowed to leave the bateyes and remained there by force. The reduction of this violence has lead to giving braceros the free will to leave the bateyes as they please. This has also promoted the acceptance for braceros to look


32 for other jobs, mainly in the agricultural spectrum such as harvesting coffe e, tomatoes or rice. Despite these progresses, there is still a significant amount of necessary chang es in the bateyes The main problem here is that although i t may differ region to region, a nti Haitianism remains strong in the mind sets of the majority of Dominicans today. One way a nti Haitianism p ersists is through public edu cation. In her essay involving a nti Haitianism, Dr. Sheridan Wigginton points out that i n the second and third grade social studies textbook by Danilda Prez used nationwide in pu blic schools, there is a lesson that involves various occupations. The occupations that involve less skill or manual labor are depicted with people with a darker skin tone which in Dominican culture means Haitians. Wigginton explains that in another lesso n that describes Dominican ethnicity, a picture of people with more of a mulatto skin tone and straight skinned ked as Africa n and black (Wigginton, 55 56) The implications made in this textbook reflect the persistence of a strong Dominican nationalist identity to distance themselves from an African heritage, as well as linking Africanness to lack of civilization, which in turn is associated with Haitians As mentioned before, a nti Haitianism varies from region to region in the Dominican Republic. The northern region of Cibao is known for having a particularly anti Haitian environment, especially in Santiago where acts of violence are considerably frequent. Since most of bateyes are loc ated in the East, residents in Santiago are not accustomed to living with a large Haitian community or population. On February 28, 2011 the neighborhoods of La Mina and San Jos i n Santiago had 420 undocumented Haitian immigrants removed by force. By the end of the week


33 many Haitians had left voluntarily due to the threat of violence. Needless to say, the residents of Santiago are hostile towards Haitian immigration and with the re cent outbreak of cholera; the area has only become more unreceptive to Haitians The s outhern region has a large population of indios a term that echoes back to the Trujillo e ra when he started to use it to refer to people with darker skin in order to av oid using negro This ave rsion to an African heritage remains popular in the South where referring to someone as black is offensive. It is the eastern region th ere is a large Haitian community and the majority of residents have a darker skin colo r. It is m ore acceptable to be black in this region due to the fact that race is less of an issue. Nevertheless, al though this area is more welcoming to Haitians, anti Haitian sentiments are still prevalent (Holmes, 56 57) There does exist a mi nority population tha t resists a nti Haitiani sm and has influenced a recent rights movement. Scholars in the Dominican Republic are typically more likely to support Haitian and Haitian Dominican rights and less likely to partake in the a nti Haitianism that is established in the national identity. Even though a higher education is likely to lead to a decrease in intolerance, this tendency is more generally seen with scholars of Humanities and/or the Ar ts (Holmes, 42) Another advocator for Haitian rights is the Catholic Church, w hich serves as a refuge for many Haitians that have been victims of v iolence or th reats of violence (Holmes, 55).


34 Chapter II: Racialization of Disease and the Power of Communication Racialized 12 representations that exist in a society, such as the anti Haitianism present in popular Dominican culture, allow for the continuation of social inequalities. This chapter discusses how the presence of a racialized group can transform issues such as disease and epidemics into political and racial issues used to categorize and represent people and/or populations as uncivilized and pre modern. Furthermore, epidemics become "racialized," when a racial group becomes associated with the disease. These situations generally highlight the social inequalities in the af fected society as well as reflect pre existing national sentiments towards certain groups. For instance, in the 1990s, the media blamed a cholera outbreak in Venezuela on the "uncivilized" culture of the indgenas Public discourse on the disease demonstra ted a radicalization of the epidemic when indgenas were targeted as the perceived "victims" due to their suggested lack of modern medical knowledge. I will discuss studies done on this particular outbreak as well as another case of Mexican immigrants in t he U.S. being linked to an epidemic. I will apply certain theories used in these studies to analyze the current cholera outbreak in Haiti, and how it is being represented in the Dominican Republic. These theories will help to understand how the images of H aitians in the Dominican media were used to portray the Haitian population as diseased, uncivilized and pre modern. To gather my analytical tools I will be using two articles by Charles Briggs, "Communicability, Racial Discourse, and Disease" and "Theoriz ing Modernity Conspiratorially: Science, scale, and the political economy of public discourse in explanations of a cholera epidemic," as well as his book, Stories in the time of 12 The term racialized can refer to both race and/or ethnicity. The reasons behind this are explained in Chapter I with respect to how Dominican culture perceives the two terms to be in terchangeable or inextricably linked.


35 cholera: racial profiling during a medical nightmare. In his essay, "Communica bility, Racial Discourse, and Dis ease," Briggs bases his theory o n these three concepts: communicability, medicalization, and racialization. The term "communicability" has to do with the ability to communicate and the power of communication. Briggs discuss es the "productive capacity" of communication and how it can be used as a tool to form social categories and groups based on how knowledge is produced, circulated, and received (270). The main principle behind communication is the notion that "knowledge is produced in scientific or other expert sectors, disseminated through other spheres, then assimilated by publics" (274 5). This process empowers the knowledge producers, such as institutions, who then control the process of how knowledge is unfolded. For e xample, during epidemics, knowledge is produced from public health officials or other scientific experts. From there this knowledge is put into context and spread throughout society by the appropriate figures such as government representatives or the media Then the people who identify themselves as the receivers of this knowledge absorb it in their discourse and behavior. This process of communication results in inequalities because it creates social hierarchies and excludes certain populations that do not have access to communicative technologies, such as the Internet and cell phones 13 However, Briggs explains that the ability to communicate is seen as the responsibility of the individual, relating it to the concept of governmentality. An aspect of governm entality has to do with how individuals self regulate or self govern their behaviors, as proof that they are responsible, moral, rational citizens (272). In this sense, individuals are responsible for their own communicability by identifying their roles in certain discourses, whether or not they produce, disseminate, or receive the information (274). 13 Briggs uses Internet and cell phones as an example of communicative technologies. However, in most Latin American countries the examples would more likely be television and newspapers.


36 In modern society, health maintenance has become an important part of self governing. This importance of health makes communicating medical knowledge a proce ss that is empowering for some and disempowering for others. Medicalization is defined as "how biomedical knowledge engenders subjectivities and definitions of the body, health, disease, and life itself and imbues them with social and political force" (270 ). Since biomedical knowledge is gained from technologies and produced by institutions, there is an inequity of power in relation to how this knowledge is communicated. Professionals who have attended medical school or studied public health are given the a uthoritative power surrounding medical discourse. The recognition of this power then creates the social boundaries in respect to knowledge. Medical statements contain certain scientific vocabulary or terminology that limits the access of certain individual s to this knowledge. In terms of governmentality, those who provide and access this information see health as a moral obligation in the art of self regulating. A sanitary citizen, also referred to as a biomedical citizen, is an individual "deemed to posses s modern medical understandings of the body, health, and illness, practice hygiene, and depend on doctors when sick" (272). Since sanitary citizens are self regulating, they withhold access of this knowledge from others because keeping up with modern medic al knowledge is seen as the individual's responsibility. In turn, those who are do not take on this responsibility and cannot understand the relationship between modern medicine and personal health become the unsanitary subject. Since health of the citizen is seen as a moral obligation, the unsanitary subject is seen as lacking this morality which, to the sanitary citizen, is linked to modernity (272). Epidemics can play a role in discerning the sanitary citizen from the unsanitary subject. The person and/ or community infected with the disease is an indication of


37 their "moral failure" to self regulate their behavior in a knowledgeable, responsible way. They lacked the initiative and ability to gain the knowledge and understanding of the disease and act in a rational way to prevent infection. However, even before the disease is present the unsanitary subject is defined. The potential of an epidemic outbreak provokes discourses consisting of who is at risk for the disease. Demographics and lifestyle choices of unsanitary subjects are analyzed and used as a basis for who comprises the "risk groups." Those included in the risk groups become subjected to prejudice and inequity; their demographics and lifestyle choices become the reasons they are projected as the victims of the disease. When this occurs, ideas of race and health can become overlapping (273). When health and race become intertwined, diseases can become racialized. Racialization is the "extension of racial meaning to a previously racially unclassifi ed relationship, social practice, or group" (270). During epidemics, racialized representations that already exist in society become more powerful by being fixed into the discourse surrounding the disease. News and narratives of epidemics comes from public health officials, the authoritative source of knowledge (275). Briggs explains that the epidemic becomes racialized when these health professionals "place the production and circulation of knowledge about race within biomedical spheres of communicability (276). In this sense, information in the media about the epidemic makes it seem like the disease would naturally target a certain population, as if it were a logical, scientific truth that this certain population attracts bacteria and viruses. Images of racialized bodies visually connect the disease with a certain population. Consequently, this justifies and naturalizes racial and societal inequalities to the point where social boundaries go unquestioned. The association with disease becomes evidence of the individual or group's inadequacy to have initiative and act rationally


38 (272 3). When a racialized population is linked to a disease, their culture is often examined as the cause. Features such as family values, traditions, labor, alternative medicine and food are blamed for the presence and/or spread of disease. Briggs explains that although this cultural information is presented as anthropological knowledge it is generally already a popular stereotype. Popular stereotypes portrayed as expert scientifi c knowledge are then circulated by the public and lead to heightened discrimination. Racialized populations are seen as "incarcerated in [a] culture" that maintains their role as passive victims who lack modern medical understanding (266 7). The way the epidemic is com municated to the public generates not only through media stories but through changes in legislation. Racialization of an epidemic is often demonstrated by special laws that occur during the o utbreak. For example, immigrant groups are frequently represente d as a "racialized flood or invasion." During an epidemic, a change in immigration laws such as a required quarantine at the border reflects how racialized populations are linked with disease. Briggs points out that although quarantines have been disproved as an appropriate public health strategy, the act is justified by the presence of racial inequalities. Briggs gives an example of a tuberculosis outbreak in South Africa that caused political and social changes. Racial inequalities during this epidemic g enerated the justification for Apartheid (276). The discrimination reflected by the racial discourse, policy changes and special laws is not only present during the epidemic but continue even after the outbreak is over. The power of communication not only defines and maintains social boundaries, but allows for the continuation of inequalities (276). These inequalities


39 also perpetuate the way in which racialized populations are denied agency, especially in being able to generate authoritative knowledge of t he disease affecting their community. Furthermore the inequalities keep them from being able to access the information needed to keep up with modern medical knowledge and self regulate their behavior accordingly (279). The spheres of communicability and kn owledge that create social hierarchies are central to how racialization and medicalization imagine citizenship and modernity. To help with my analysis of the cholera outbreak in Haiti, I will use the example of how Briggs applied his theories to the cho lera outbreak in Venezuela. His essay, "Theorizing modernity conspiratorially: Science, scale, and the political economy of public discourse in explanations of a cholera epidemic," and the book, Stories in the time of cholera: racial profiling during a med ical nightmare specifically speak of the Warao indigenous ethnic group. This indigenous group is a population of 24,000 people residing in the delta of the Orinoco River in eastern Venezuelan state of Delta Amacuro. Their culture is deemed distinct to tha t of the rest of the Venezuelan people, or the criollos, who reside in the state capital of Tucupita. In Venezuelan society, the indgenas are seen as the pre modern population. The criollos are considered the "national society," who are rational and civil ized. The indigenous group speaks Warao, lives in houses with palm leaf thatching, uses canoes for transportation, and at times uses vernacular healers instead of physicians for medical services. Furthermore, the Orinoco delta region has the highest rates of malnutrition and infant mortality in Venezuela, which has given the Warao indigenous group the reputation of lacking medical modernity. Their race, characteristics of their culture and their perceived inability to be use modern medicine


40 have created a s tigma of backwardness and pre modernity (Briggs, "Theorizing modernity..." 166 8). After a century of being cholera free, Latin America experienced an outbreak of the disease in January of 1991. The epidemic first presented itself in Peru and then spread to almost all the countries in the same region. Cholera reached Venezuela in November of the same year, where its reputation of being a disease of "social inequality" became present in how the disease was represented in the media and public discourse. The public discourse of cholera allowed the disease to become racialized, where the visualized target of the disease became the indgenas (Briggs, "Theorizing Modernity..." 164 66). Although cholera reached Venezuela in November of 1991, it was not present in the Delta Amacuro until August of 1992. The state did little to prepare the area for the anticipate d spread of choler a. Many communities did not even know of cholera and were ill equipped when it struck, not knowing how to handle the situation and lacking medical supplies and physicians. Officials in Tucupita automatically blamed the Warao culture for its appearance. While there was still little information on the epidemiology of the outbreak, the public health officials stated that crabs were transmitting cholera. The media began looking for ways to connect this crab theory to the Warao culture. Local articles began to imply that crabs were key parts of the Warao culture such as mythology, rituals and economics. More specifically, the officials alleged the outbreak started with the religious ceremony, nowara which involves eating crab. The criollo population took all the responsibility away from themselves. Any blame that could be made towards the health institutions, government agencies, or an ything with the state was completely erased by this imagined epidemiology that blamed a culture that was seen as uncivilized and pre


41 modern. However, the attempt to associate cholera with Warao culture had defects. In the delta region crabs are generally c ooked before being consumed. The boiling of the crabs eliminates the risk of infection. The fact that people who ate raw crab and people who ate boiled crab were both getting infected was a sign that crabs were not the source of the disease. Furthermore, n owara the tradition linked with eating crab was also rarely practiced in the region (Briggs, "Theorizing modernity..." 168 9). Despite the fact that the Warao culture was not the culprit of the outbreak, officials in Tucupita still distanced themselves f rom the "source" of the disease. When health refugees from the delta region reached the city, they were promptly returned by military transport. The stigma that was attached to the indgenas allowed for complete dismissal of help. The state did not want t hem infiltrating and contaminating the "civilized" population. Deaths of the indigenous people were seen as their own fault due to their perceived irresponsibility to be knowledgeable healthy citizens. In fact, out of the 500 deaths in the delta of the Ori noco River, only 13 were officially reported to the World Health Organization (WHO), meaning that the organization did not provide any visits or help with the situation (Briggs, "Theorizing modernity..." 166 8). Briggs discusses how since the 19th century cholera outbreaks have lead to state discourses that demonstrate patterns of defining citizenship in relation to health. Individuals and certain populations are categorized into sanitary citizens or unsanitary subjects. Not only is a distinction made be tween the hygienic and the unhygienic, but the former is labeled citizen while the latter is reduced to a "subject." Briggs explains that sanitary citizens, being characterized by their status as Venezuelans, "[become] complex subjects who [possess] a full set of normative economic, cultural, familial, legal, educational, sexual and medical characteristics"


42 (Briggs and Mantini Briggs, 33). Unsanitary subjects, in turn, are simple subjects who are defined by one aspect of their social identities, either clas s or race.. Briggs points out that the unsanitary subjects in Venezuela: [seem] to be intrinsically linked to a particular package of pre modern or 'marginal' characteristics --poverty, criminality, ignorance, illiteracy, promiscuity, filth, and a lack of relations and feelings that define the nuclear family (Briggs and Mantini Briggs, 33) This denial of agency leads to social inequalities such as denials of basic social and political rights including access to jobs, education, medical treatment and legal protection (Briggs and Mantini Briggs, 9). In Venezuela, Briggs recognized that the public health discourse reflected a hierarchal ordering that maintained the social inequality between criollos and indgenas In newspapers, the public health officials we re seen as the top of the hierarchy, transmitting information from global organizations such as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the WHO. In turn, the politicians took this information and put it in the context of policies. The sanitary citi zens must prove their position as medically aware by adhering to the statements of the medical authorities. They feel obligated to show they are knowledgeable by being able to verbally spread the principles of the public discourse. The unsanitary subjects, the working class and poor population, must use this discourse to become aware and to adopt the proper hygiene, indicating their compliance to the medical authority. The words of the unsanitary subject in public discourse often expressed emotion, reflecti ng their fear and anger regarding the disease, typically asking the officials for help or criticizing them when no action is done (Briggs, "Theorizing modernity..." 166 8). In the media, the unsanitary subject, was further split into racial terms


43 separati ng the working class criollos from the indgenas. The working class criollos although unsanitary citizens, were portrayed to be capable of using the public discourse surrounding the disease to become aware, meanwhile the indgenas were portrayed as incomp etent of understanding it and incorporating its principles, either verbally or through practice. In this sense they were seen as incapable of becoming sanitary citizens, indicating they could never reach the status of "modern." Since they were unable to "a ctively" participate in the discourse, Briggs points out that the indgenas only participation in discourse was thus "citational", usually reflecting the answers to a reporter's questions. Many reporters stated that the indgenas thought cholera was caused by hebu, or evil spirits suggesting they did not understand the disease is linked to bacteria. Articles stated that the indgenas were rejecting the help of physicians, an excuse that hid the fact that the government was sending the Warao group back to th e delta when they sought help in Tucupita. They were manipulated to reflect their role as the helpless subject lacking autonomy and authority in respect to health, becoming the expected "victims" of cholera. The manner in which the public discourse is circ ulated demonstrates how one social class has come to dominate the other social class, creating a society where indgenas are never the source or providers of authoritative knowledge. This leads to social inequality being continuously sustained by the disco urse (177). The hierarchal roles are not only created from the discourse of each group, but through how they are pictured and how they are represented in a social space. Each group is shown in the appropriate social space that coincides with their role in the hierarchal ranking. The public discourse is supported and emphasized by these images. Visual images effectively create links between disease and identity. The public health officials, politicians and reporters are shown in a prestigious space such


44 as government buildings, offices and official meetings, where their role as the sanitary citizen is visualized. The working class criollos are pictured as absorbing information from the lower status professionals, usually on the street or in a less important institutional space. Indgenas are shown in poor communities, visually strengthening the idea of cholera being a disease of poverty, backwardness and pre modernity. Furthermore, pictures of indgenas portray their inability to understand the situation. As patients they are pictured as passive subjects waiting to either die or recover rather than actively taking in information about their condition. These images of indgenas as the "victims" of cholera make their association with disease more real and visu alizes the social inequality (Briggs, "Theorizing Modernity..." 177). Briggs' theories are based on studies of countries with more than one ethnic or social group. In this situation discourses of health can be used to stigmatize one of these groups by the hegemonic processes explained. Although the example Briggs gives is of the indgenas living in Venezuela, in the case of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the Haitian population is an immigrant group. Unlike the indgenas living in Venezuela, Haitians are not native to the Dominican Republic. Because of this difference between Briggs' study and my own, I want to give a specific example of the consequences of immigrants being the stigmatized group. In 1916, a typhus outbreak in Los Angeles County led to the stigma of Mexican immigrants as disease carriers in the United States. Typhus is spread through lice and ticks and is not a contagious disease, however in some conditions, such as lack of proper sanitation and overcrowding, it can become an epidemic. The first case of typhus in this particular outbreak of 1916 was a Mexican railroad worker who worked on the Southern Pacific Railroad. The outbreak only lasted four months with 26 people total contracting the disease, 22 of these people being Mexican lab orers


45 who worked on the railroad. The county responded to this outbreak by creating hygiene and sanitation campaigns that were solely aimed at the Mexican population, portraying Mexicans as unclean and diseased (Molina, 1026). Similar to how Haitians are represented in the Dominican Republic, Mexicans were seen as "racial ly" and "biologically" inferior (Molina, 1025). This pre existing racial discrimination in the U.S. fueled the prejudicial perception of Mexican immigrants after the outbreak. The added s tigma of uncleanliness and ignorance displayed in the media only served to justify this viewpoint. In fact, a California State Board of Health Bulletin visually linked disease with Mexicans when the cover of the October 1916 issue displayed a picture of a Mexican family with the caption "The type of people who are bringing typhus and other diseases into California from Mexico" (Molina, 1027). This stigma not only affected the perception of Mexicans, but how they were treated. This was reflected in health policy changes. After the outbreak, a quarantine was installed at the border. Mexicans were humiliated by having to undergo invasive medical screenings and being forced to take baths. These increased inspections were even enforced upon laborers who crossed on a daily basis (Molina, 1027). The railroad camps were also given new policies that dealt with helping Mexicans to develop better personal hygiene. However, due to perceived racial inequalities, the public health officials failed to see other factors t hat could have led to the outbreak. Parallel to the situation for Haitian laborers in the Dominican Republic, Mexican laborers in the U.S. were given insufficient wages and forced to live in substandard conditions. These poor conditions allowed for the inf estation of lice and ticks that can transmit diseases. Some Mexicans laborers upset with the racism of the policies, wrote a letter to the Mexican consul asking for improved living conditions,


46 explaining that "their living conditions resulted from systemi c inequality, not from ingrained cultural habit" (Molina, 1026). Nevertheless, the racialization of the outbreak allowed for these factors to be ignored. The concepts discussed in Briggs' articles and the examples of the outbreaks in Venezuela and the U.S are useful to my study. I will be analyzing Dominican newspaper articles that deal with the cholera epidemic in Haiti as well as the several outbreaks in the Dominican Republic. Since the nationalist culture in the Dominican Republic portrays Haitians as a racialized population, discrimination, especially against Haitian immigrants, is fairly common. Just as Joaqun Balaguer used diseases to construct Haitians as immoral, promiscuous and uncivilized, the cholera outbreak of 2010 did the same. My goal in t his analysis is to see whether or not the cholera epidemic was used to display and justify the nationalistic "anti Haitian" sentiment through the connection between disease, morality, civilization and citizenship. Were those producing authoritative discour se using the media to represent Haitians as unsanitary, diseased subjects? If so, how did this influence the opinion of the nation? As a consequence, did discrimination against Haitians increase? Did stricter immigration laws gain popular support? These questions will be answered by the analysis of the Dominican newspaper articles. From Briggs' studies I am going to use the aspect of the power of communication and how it results in inequalities and social hierarchies. The power of communication breeds fur ther concepts that are more specific to my study. I will be using the concept of the sanitary citizen versus the unsanitary subject, based on the idea that health has become a moral obligation, and the aspect of racialization: how certain populations becom e the "natural" targets of disease and how certain changes in legislation and special laws reflect this discrimination. All of these ideas will help me


47 to determine if the discourse surrounding the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti was used in the Dominican R epublic as way to stigmatize Haitians as backward, pre modern and immoral. Cholera in Haiti Cholera, caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholera, is a disease that can kill even the healthiest person from three to twelve hours after the first symptom is recogni zed. The toxin produced by the bacteria is absorbed by the intestines and causes the cells to produce water and electrolytes, leading to rapid dehydration, watery diarrhea and vomiting. The loss of fluids results in rapid dehydration, weakness, fatigue, pa inful cramps, extreme thirst, sunken eyes as well as other symptoms that can make a young adult seem almost 50 years older. The fluids must be replaced or else the patient will lose consciousness and likely die if not given rehydration therapy. Most patien ts are given a solution that contains sugar, salt and electrolytes that replenishes what has been lost through diarrhea and vomiting. Antibiotics are also used as treatment due to the fact that the disease is caused by bacteria ( CDC, "Cholera"). The issu e with cholera is that in the developed world it is easy to prevent and easy to treat; however developing countries that lack a modern sanitation system are at high risk for contamination and rapid spread if the bacteria is present. The disease can be mana ged with proper hygiene, clean water, and sanitation and is stopped by un contaminating food and water infected with the cholera bacteria ( CDC, "Cholera"). On January 12, 2010 Haiti suffered a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed around 300,000 people and le ft 1.5 million people homeless (Fraser, 1813). About nine months later on October 21, 2010, Haiti was struck with another disaster -the first case of cholera in 50 years. The disease spread through the Artibonite River


48 Basin, just north of Port au Prince and by November 9, 2010 thousands had been infected with more than 580 reported deaths. The outbreak showed concerns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention h ad stated in March of 2010 that cholera a month before the outbreak, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) had reported their concern with the conditions of the wate r, sanitation system and lack of adequate health care services in the Artibonite region of Haiti, the same region where The conditions in Haiti were so poor even before the earthq uake that it is hard to say whether the earthquake was just a catalyst to an already inevitable waterborne illness outbreak. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and deals with poor infrastructure, a struggling health care system, imprope r sanitation services and lack of potable, safe water. Before the earthquake, more than half the population was living without clean water and 83% of people had no avenue to a suitable sanitation facility (Lichtenberger et al, 951). In the capital of Port au Prince, 50% of inhabitants had no latrines or other form of sanitation system while 1/3 of the population lacked access to municipal water. Haiti had also been confirmed as the most water insecure country in its hemisphere. Haitians living in rural area s get their water directly from the source or pipes that come from a river or stream. These fertile ground that allows bacteria to easily survive (Farmer, 71). In fact before the outbreak of cholera, diarrheal problems were not uncommon and served as a major cause of death for children under the age of five. The poor health care system in Haiti comes with a shortage of health care resources as well as the fact that 80% of medical


49 school graduates choose to leave Haiti and there are only around two physicians per 10,000 inhabitants (Fraser, 1814). and healthcare. Over 80% of the hospitals in Por t au Prince were destroyed or severely damaged and have yet to be rebuilt. Hundreds of thousands of families left without homes were forced to live in over crowded tents, creating a welcoming environment for the spread of disease (Fraser, 1813). Dr. Paul F armer, an expert in infectious disease management and the founder of the medical aid group, Partners In Health, went to Haiti two weeks after the earthquake to help with relief. He commented in his book, Haiti After the Earthquake that hundreds of Haitian s living in camps in Port au Prince were living in conditions highly susceptible to cholera and other waterborne illnesses (99). In the Artibonite region, where most cases of cholera were presented, the resettlement of over 160,000 Haitians had caused issu es with When he first heard of the outbreak, Dr. Farmer predicted what would follow. From his experience and knowledge of Haiti he knew that effective means of treatment and prevention would be fairly restricted in several areas. Many Haitians living in rural areas do not have access to clean water and lack means to prompt diagnosis and healthcare, especially after the earthquake. From his familiarity with infectious disease management Dr. Farmer knew the main focus of the first few days of the epidemic would be to find out where the cholera was coming from and to cut its spread. He also knew experts on the disease would be split into two categories: prevention experts and treatment experts. The preven tion experts would focus more on methods of preventing the disease such as water filtration, chlorination and vaccination. On the other hand, treatment experts would center on ways to treat


50 cholera such as oral rehydration and antibiotic therapy (Farmer, 1 91). As the disease continued to spread Dr. Farmer discovered a division in how to approach the epidemic on a larger scale. The minimalists invested heavily in health education and massive distribution of chlorine tablets in order to disinfect drinking wat er. The maximalists took on a vision that included prevention through improved sanitation, chlorine tablets, and vaccines that were safe and effective; treatment by rehydration, replacing electrolytes and using antibiotics; and desired more controlled publ ic health responses order to stop cholera from spreading to other countries, searching the central mountains to find people too sick to reach a clinic, using antibiotics for even in moderate cases and to focus on rebuilding sanitation and water networks that were destroyed by the earthquake. However, all of these ideas require a substantial amount of funding (Farmer, 203). The Center of Disease Control (CDC) actually did have a cholera epidemic plan prior to the outbreak of the disease. This plan involved constructing health monitoring sites that would help to detect a local outbreak and collect samples to confirm and analyze the disease. After cholera had been detected, the C DC helped to gather health experts from Cuba and from Doctors Without Borders to come to Haiti th have also worked to build treatment centers in hospitals and clinics. (Farmer, 198) The World Health Organization (WHO) came out with its latest report on the disease in Haiti in December of 2011 stating that over a year later there are now 30 Cholera T reatment Centers (CTCs), 169 Cholera Treatment Units (CTUs) and 766 Oral Rehydration Posts (ORPs) (World Health Organization). Besides efforts from the


51 foreign community, the Haitian government has played a role in fighting the spread of cholera. The Haiti an Ministry of Health was the first to report the disease and has since responded well to the outbreak by being active in the effort to contain and control cholera. The Ministry along with many NGOs are working to train health workers to educate communitie s in good sanitation and hygiene practices, how to identify cases and provide rehydration therapy (Fraser, 1814). In recent news, vaccination projects were approved by the national ethics board and the vaccination of 1% of the Haitian population began on A pril 12, 2012. called Shanchol from a manufacturer in India. The vaccination requires two doses and will be priced at $1.85 per dose. Partners in Health plans to vaccinate in the Artibonite Valley where cholera first appeared. The second project is located in Port au Prince where the Haitian medical group, GHESKIO, is handling the vaccinations (Sontag, "Vaccinations Begin..."). Many groups did not support a vaccination plan in Haiti at the beginning of the outbreak because they were concerned with the fact that vaccinations would be limited. The Haitian government, WHO, CDC and PAHO feared that when Haitians learned that the vaccines would not be available to all, it would resu lt in more riots and unneeded chaos. However, as the need to control the disease becomes dire, many who did not support vaccination in the past are now changing their minds. Haiti 's recent elections brought the country a new president, Michel Martelly, who f ully supports vaccination. The World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization have started to support vaccination with the WHO actually working on pre qualifying the same vaccine that Partners in Health will use. Other groups such as


52 Do ctors Without Borders are considering starting a vaccination project as well (Knox, Besides working on prevention and treatment, there is still the issue of the origin of the outbreak. Dr. Farmer, who has studied how Haitians react to disease 14 knew that the Haitian community would look to blame foreigners for bringing cholera to their country, especially since th e disease was unknown to Haiti (Farmer, 191). Rumors spread quickly after October 20, 2010 when Haitians heard over the radio that people living near the mouth of the Artibonite River were dying from an illne ss related to fever, vomiting and diarrhea. One rumor was that helicopters had dropped black powder in the river causing Haitians to get sick or that poison was poured into a dam in the Dominican Republic. A third rumor that the epidemic could be linked to a base camp of Nepalese U.N. peacekeeping troops has been heavily considered by health care professionals and epidemiologists as the possible cause. Suspicion began when waste from the base was seen flowing into a river where coincidentally, hundreds livi ng downstream died from cholera. The base is located on Boukan Kanni, a stream that is part of the Meille River that runs into the Artibonite. Furthermore, there had been a recent arrival of Nepalese troops around the same dates of the outbreak. Cholera is endemic to Nepal and outbreaks had been reported there just months before the outbreak in Haiti A month following the first case, the mayor of Miralbelais, a city in the Arbitonite valley with a high population of fore Nepalese Peacekeeping troops. The accusation spread throughout all of Haiti and lead 14 See Farmer, Paul. Sending Sickness: Sorcery, Politics, and Changing Concepts of AIDS in Rural Haiti


53 to riots and protests against the U.N. The riots caused several people to be killed and injured as well as restricted the transport of med ical supplies and treatment (Fraser, 1813) The U.N. responded by stating that none of troops showed symptoms of cholera; however, since cholera is endemic to Nepal many people have built up immunity and an immune person can still carry the disease and be able to spread i t without ever showing symptoms (Ka The speculations furthered when the CDC released that genetic tests done matched the cholera bacterium with a south Asian strain. (Fraser, 1813) The genetic analysis of the strain proved to be an El Tor biotype of Vibrae cholerae serogroup 01, a strain characteristically difficult to slow down. The chair of the department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard, John Mekalanos, is well experienced in cholera and is studying the genetic fingerprint of the cholera strain in Haiti. Dr. Mekalanos agrees with the hypothesis that the cholera was brought over by one of the many foreign aid groups that occupy Haiti, stating that, "It very much likely did come either with pe acekeepers or other relief personnel. I don't see there is any way to avoid the conclusion that an unfortunate and presumably accidental introd uction of the organism occurred (Farmer, 194) Although there is a causal link between the Nepalese peacekeep ing troops and the appearance of cholera in Haiti, there has been no official statement that the troops were the definite reason for the outbreak. Regardless, several Haitians are still convinced the appearance of cholera is due to the U.N. and have even initiated legal proceeding s In November of 2011 around 5,000 Haitian cholera victims signed a petition wanting compensation for their suffering and have handed it to the U.N. Stabilization Mission. Haitians who were affected by the disease are asking for $ 50,000 while families of the deceased are demanding $100,000. Most importantly, they are asking the U.N. to take responsibility for the outbreak and help end it by


54 providing medical care for cholera patients and establishing systems for clean water and was te treatment. The U.N. still denies any responsibility for the outbreak (Basu, The cholera outbreak in Haiti is far from over. Spring 2012 will bring rains which means flooding. Dr. Vanessa Rouzier of GHESKIO was quoted in NPR expressing her concern for the rainy season in Haiti: When it rains, everything mixes. It becomes a soup, which is a perfect breeding ground for every diarrheal disease, cholera included. The houses get flooded, and people are up to their knees in water and they just have to wait for the water to recede. (Knox, "In Haiti...") By April 2012, the disease had infected more than 530,000 Haitians and killed over 7,000. The fatality rate has been highest among children and the elderly (Sontag, "Vaccinations Begin...").


55 Chapter III: Article Analysis In this chapter I analyze Dominican newspaper articles that discuss the 2010 cholera outbreak in neighboring Haiti. I use two of the main newspapers in the Dominican Republic: El Nacional and Listn Dia rio ( LD ) Both of these newspapers are based in the capital of Santo Domingo. I propose that historical events, pre existing racialized representations, and stereotypes of Haitians in the Dominican Republic allowed for the progression of the cholera epide mic into an issue not of health, but of race, politics and discrimination. This progr ession is influenced by the threat of Haitian domination that has been a consistent fear in the history of the Dominican Republic. I demonstrate how the construction of Ha itians as the unsanitary subjects in the media resulted in policy changes and preventative methods targeting Hait ian immigration. Then I discuss the impact that the discourse surrounding the outbreak had in the public 's action s, thus illustrating the powe r of communication. Once cholera out broke in Haiti, Dominican authorities and the media began reporting on how to prevent cholera from coming to the other side of the island. In doing this, the unsanitary subject and the sanitary citizen were defined a nd distinguished. Stories published in the newspapers began to construct these identities based on ideas of health, history between the two countries, and cultural practices. Two days afte r the cholera outbreak in Haiti the Social Christian Reformist Pa rty (PRSC) proposed a "blindaje sanitario," or a health shield to keep cholera from entering the Dominican Republic 15 The purpose of the "health shield" would be to block Haitian immigrants who, according to the Secretary General of the party, carry dise ase. The Secretary General of the Reform Party, Ramn Rogelio Genao, 15 "PRSC propone controles o cierre temporal de la de frontera para evitar epidemia llegue al pas." Listn Diario. 23 October 2010. ( republica/2010/10/23/ 163728/PRSC propone controles o cierre temporal de la de frontera para evitar)


56 recommended that the shield compose of controls being established at different points of entry for Haitians, including the border, airports and ports. He also suggested that if necessary, the government should temporarily close the Dominican Haitian border. Genao justified these actions by stating that the cholera outbreak in Haiti was the greatest epidemiological threat ever faced by the Dominican Republic in its history and that: La mig racin ilegal de ciudadanos haitianos hacia la Repblica Dominicana ha producido un retroceso sanitario en e l pas. Enfermedades que haban sido erradicadas como la malaria y otras, han vuelto... El Ministerio de Salud Pblica y el Gobierno en sentido g eneral deben iniciar una campaa en las provincias fronterizas del pas alertando sobre prcticas culturales que evitan la propagacin del clera. 16 Genao begins to define illegal Haitian immigrants as the unsanitary subjects. He states that the illegal immigration of Haitians to the Dominican Republic is a health concern for Dominicans because illegal Haitians bring diseases that the Dominican Republic has already wiped out. In contrast, he constructs Dominicans as sanitary citizens by directly implying that Haitians are the cause of disease in the Dominican Republic, not Dominicans. The fact that these diseases ha ve been eradicated in the Dominican Republic shows that Dominicans know how to avoid and eliminate disease, as well as practice proper hygiene. By contrast, the portrayal of Haitians as a threat to the health of Dominicans verifies Dominicans as being healthy, and Haitians as the contaminators. Besides constructing illegal Haitian immigrants as the unsanitary subjects, Genao blames the Haitian culture for the prevalence of disease by stating that the border area, where many Haitians reside, is in need of a campaign that teaches 16 The illegal migration of Haitian citizens towards the Dominican Republic has produced a health setback in the country. Diseases that have been eradicated such as malaria and o thers, have returned...The Ministry of Public Health and the government in general should initiate a campaign in the border provinces, alerting to cultural practices that prevent the propagation of cholera.


57 cultural practices that prevent cholera. By making this statement, Genao changes the issue from a health issue, to an i ssue of politics. First of all, he is one of the first people to address the cholera outbreak, not as a healthcare official, but rather a politician. Having no background in medicine or epidemiology, his solutions are solely politically motivated. Secondl y, he brings up his concern with cultural practices in the border population. Historically, the border population has always been notorious for an overwhelming Haitian presence, therefore the Dominican public understands that Genao is targeting Haitian cul ture, and an area where illegal Haitians are prevalent. His implications that the border population is the most vulnerable to disease creates a distinction between that population and the rest of the country (Dominican citizens). Due to pre existing racia lized representations of Haitians, the Dominican public receives this as message as a distinction between Dominican and Haitian culture with the inference that the former is superior to the latter. Genao's statement implies that the cultural practices o f Haitians are the reason that they are constructed as the unsanitary subjects. This establishes the relationship between health, morality, and modernity. Maintaining personal hygiene has become an important aspect of modern society, as well as a reflecti on of morality. The Dominican public sees the unsanitary characteristics of Haitians as an indication that the Haitian civilization is inferior to the Dominican civilization because the Haitian culture lacks the morals and modernity to achieve the status o f a sanitary citizen. Genao's message to the public is not only that there is the threat of cholera to the Dominican Republic, but with it the threat of Haitians. The infiltration and presence of the "inferior," Haitian civilization threatens the progres sion of the "superior" Dominican civilization into a modern society.


5 8 This cholera outbreak became further politicized when the media released a similar statement from Dr. Julio Amado Castanos Guzmn, the President of the Board of the General Hospital of the Health Plaza, where he warned that the outbreak of cholera in Haiti could be the start of a cascade of epidemics in Haiti, which is also a threat to the Dominican Republic 17 The Public Health specialist recommended to health authorities and authoriti es of the Dominican border traffic control that they take the necessary measures to prevent the entry of the disease into the country. For him, the necessary measures would be preventing the immigration of Haitians, which in turn would prevent cholera fro m entering the Dominican Republic. By establishing this relationship between disease and Haitian immigration, Haitian immigrants are again constructed as the unsanitary subject. Genao, a politician, and Dr. Guzmn, a significant figure in the health instit ution, are both suggesting that the most important decision to make to prevent cholera is to stop the immigration of illegal Haitians. Neither of them mention anything on starting a campaign of awareness to Dominican citizens. It is especially noteworthy t hat a doctor would not mention anything to Dominican citizens on how to prevent the spread of cholera or how to deal with the disease, such as washing food, drinking clean water, etc. This is another way the Dominicans are implied as the sanitary citizens, because they are being put out of the picture with the assumption that cholera will not affect them. This is done by putting all the blame on Haitian immigration and assuming Dominicans, the sanitary citizens, would not be the cause of the spread of the d isease in the Dominican Republic. In addition, the lack of health recommendations demonstrate the progression of the epidemic into a political and racial issue. The suggested preventative methods are not 17 Pantalen, Doris. "Castaos Guzmn advierte rie sgos de Clera para Repblica Dominicana." Listn Diario. 23 October 2010. ( republica/2010/10/23/163711/Castanos Guzman advierte riesgos de Colera para Republica Dominicana)


59 concerned with fixing issues in the Dominican publi c health system such as improving sanitation, etc., but rather focusing on the political issue of Haitian immigration. Guzmn stated "En el pas existe una marea migratoria permanente de ciudadanos haitianos...que requieren de mucho cuidado. 18 This stric tly political statement reminds the public of the constant flow of Haitian immigrants coming to the Dominican Republic. However, after previously identifying Haitians as disease carriers, the problem of Haitian immigration is intensified. Once again, the t hreat of cholera has a deeper meaning where the main concern becomes preventing Haitians from entering the Dominican Republic. To the Dominican public, there would be no threat of cholera if it were not for the problem of diseased Haitian immigr ating to t he Dominican Republic. The Dominican government officials took these recommendations into consideration when two days later, the Border Security Corp (Cesfront), the Dominican Army and the Ministry of Public Health sealed off the border, only allowing the entry of Haitians who had a visa 19 These measures were adopted to try to prevent, "personas infectadas con la bacteria del clera 20 from entering Dominican territory. This is another example that associates the unsanitary subject to Haitian immigrants, di stinguishing Haitians with visas from Haitians who do not have visas. This creates a link between immigration status and health, in which illegal Haitians are targeted as the ones infected with the cholera bacteria. Only allowing Haitians with visas to ent er is a way that Dominican authorities can control who is entering, because Haitians who acquire a visa must be approved by the Dominican government. In addition, Haitians with visas are more likely to have characteristics of a sanitary 18 In the country there exists a permanent migratory se a of Haitian...that need a lot of care. 19 Gonzlez Santiago. "Tratan de evitar entrada haitianos." El Nacional 25 October 2010. ( de evitar entrada haitianos ) 20 persons infected with the chole ra bacteria


60 citizen, because t hey legally and responsibly went through the process of acquiring a visa. However, even Haitians with visas do not have the full status of a sanitary citizen. The Dominican authorities established a "casilla de higienizacin," or a "sanitation hut" where a ll Haitians allowed to enter must wash their hands. This implies that even legal Haitians need to be sanitized, linking the entire Haitian population and country with disease. Furthermore, it takes the issue beyond disease. The media constructs cholera as having more agency than Haitians, implying that it has a choice in who to target, and certain Haitians are naturally targeted because of their legal status. This relates back to Briggs' theory that an epidemic becomes racialized when it is portrayed to nat urally target a certain group, which is most often an immigrant group depicted as the "racialized flood." However, the fact is that cholera is unaware of a person's legal status; both an undocumented and documented Haitian have the potential of carrying c holera. In this sense, only allowing Haitians with visas serves no purpose. The necessity for legal Haitians to wash their hands exhibits how the "preventative" methods are no longer about sanitizing Haitians, but rather sanitizing the Dominican Republic o f Haitians. The sanitation hut is useless and unnecessary, especially because if someone is already carrying cholera, washing their hands will do nothing to cure or prevent its spread. The bacteria is absorbed through the intestines by ingesting either con taminated food or water, not by casual touch. Since cholera is not spread through casual touch, the picture released of a Haitian going through the sanitation hut proves the racialization of the epidemic ( Figure 1 ) 21 The caption reads Un haitiano se lava las manos para entrar al pas por 21 Pantalen, Doris. "Pide no consumir jugos y alimentos de venta en calles." Listn Diario. 26 October 2010. ( republica/2010/10/25/163922/Pide no consumir jugos y alimentos de venta en calles)


61 la frontera de Dajabn 22 and shows a Haitian immigrant being forced to wash his hands while a Dominican health worker hoses him down. The picture effectively creates a link between disease and the identity of Haitians by the visualization of Haitians as unsanitary. The Haitian, although legal, is denied agency by having to be washed and hosed down by another human being. This demonstrates the inferiority of Haitians in relationship to Dominicans, another construction o f the unsanitary subject versus the sanitary citizen. This construction is accepted by the Dominican public and goes unquestioned, which in turn naturalizes and perpetuates racial and social inequalities that already exist. The image highlights the distinc tion between the uncivilized Haitians and the civilized Dominicans. The Dominican Health worker is represented as the sanitary citizen because he is wearing gloves and is given the responsibility of "cleaning" the Haitian. However, as mentioned before, we aring gloves serves no purpose in preventing the spread of the disease and only displays how Dominicans are dehumanizing Haitians by not wanting any contact with them. Figure 1 22 A Haitian washes his hands in order to enter the country through the Dajabn border.


62 Only hours after the sanitation hut was established, the government had an emergency meeting at the National Palace, led by President Leonel Fernndez 23 The Presid ent upgraded the sanitation box to a "cordn sanitario" or basically a quarantine line at the Dominican Haitian border, reiterating again that this measure will prevent the entrance of "indocumentados haitianos infectados 24 ." The words "undocumented Haitia ns" and "infected" once again go hand and hand, creating a persistent association that is received by the public. In addition to washing hands, Immigration placed mats soaked with bleach at the bridges that connect the two countries 25 The bleach is applied to the shoes of anyone entering the Dominican Republic by foot, as well as to the tires of any vehicles. As pointed out in the previous chapter, quarantines have been disproved as an appropriate public health strategy, which means the quarantine line is a change in policy that is politically and racially motivated. The presence of a quarantine line that links a racialized population with disease is justified by the presence of racial inequalities. The pre existing racialized representations of Haitians in the Dominican Republic characterize the Haitian "race" as inferior to la raza dominicana. This belief is justified by the authorities and media portraying Haitians as the unsanitary subjects, naturally linking "blackness" to immorality and backwardness. A uthorities listened to the other recommendation of Genao involving the sanitary issues in the border zone and decided to work on the implementation of communication strategies to raise awareness about cholera. The Press Director for the 23 Galan, Jesus. "Leonel dispone cordn sanitario por el clera ." El Nacional 25October 2010. ( dispone cordon sanitario por el col era ) 24 undocumented, infected Haitians 25 RD prohbe contratar ms haitianos sectores turismo y construccin ." El Nacional. 17 November 2010. ( prohibe contratar mas haitianos sectores turismo y cons truccion )


63 president explained that the government would be handing out fliers with information in both Spanish and Haitian Creole as well as providing information via radio and television 26 However, he mentioned that the campaign would fundamentally be in the border zone because it is the most vulnerable. Just as Genao had implied in his statements, the border zone is most vulnerable because it is an area where many Haitians live, as well as where many illegal immigrants would be found due to the proximity of Haiti The government is making Genao's suggestion an official measure which gives more power to the representation of Haitians as the unsanitary citizens and puts blame on Haitian immigrants Not only is the Secretary General of a political party implying this, but the authorita tive source of the epidemic, the Public Health Minister, is blaming Haitian culture and suggesting that Haitians need the most communication because they are incapable of obtaining and understanding modern medical knowledge on their own. This is due to the nationalistic belief that Haitians are incarcerated in a culture that maintains their role as the passive, helpless victims. The preventative methods adopted by the government are politically motivated to prevent illegal immigrants who threaten the progre ssion of the Dominican nation; nevertheless, these methods are executed in the name of "health." The cholera outbreak being linked to Haitian immigration became a justification for any change in policies. With the threat of cholera becoming more of a co ncern, an article was published in Listn Diario that explained how some Dominicans and Haitians in the areas of Santo Domingo have little information on how to avoid getting cholera 27 The 26 de Len, Viviano. "Gobierno dispone medidas para evitar clera penetre a RD ." Listn Diario. 26 October 2010. ( republica/2010/10/25/163932/Gobierno dispone medidas para evitar colera penetre a RD ) 27 Luna, Andrea. "En barrios no saben qu es el clera y efectos ." Listn Diario 26 October 2010. ( republica/2010/10/26/164036/En barrios no saben que es el colera y efectos )


64 article starts off by saying that both Dominicans and Haitians in a reas of the capital are unknowledgeable about the disease; however, the article specifically speaks of "Pequeo Hait (Little Haiti), a commercial area named for its high concentration of Haitians. After the first sentence of the article, Dominicans are t aken out of the picture so that the only Haitians are targeted. This article describes how the Haitian merchants are unsanitary, recognizing that even though the border area is most vulnerable, there are Haitians throughout the whole country. It describes the environment of Haitian merchants, stating that they display their fruits and vegetables on the pavement and keep pre c ooked chicken in a batea a metal wash tub usually used for laundry. The author adds that the lack of hygiene in the area is "ostensib le" (obvious), saying that the area characteristically stinks of rotting waste. All these descriptions are defining Haitians as unsanitary and using visuals for justification. It is implying that this area is susceptible to cholera because Haitians are unh ygienic and do not know what cholera is and how it can be spread. The article comes with a picture ( Figure 2 ) of a Haitian merchant with the caption, "En el llamado Pequeo Hait, en San Carlos, en esta capita l, se cocina en las calles con poca higiene. 28 The picture shows a Haitian woman handling raw chicken in a batea showing how the meat is handled and that it is being kept in a wash pan in the hot sun with no refrigeration. Since cholera is a water borne illness that can be transferred through uncooked food, the image shows how the Haitian merchants are unknowledgeable about how the disease is spread, because the way the woman is handling the food is at risk of attracting bacteria. Although it is true that these are conditions th at can spread ch olera, it is a fact that the media singles out Haitians as the culprits of insanitation. The image allows th e readers to visually connect the unhygienic characteristics solely 28 In the so called Pequeo Hait, in San Carolos, in this capital, they cook in the streets with little hygiene.


65 with Haitians, even after the article starting off including Dominicans. It creates a more powerful association with cholera and the habits of Haitians that characterize them as unhygienic and more susceptible to disease. Furthermore, by eliminating Dominicans from the picture and only targeting Haitians, the epidemic once again is racialized. Figure 2 Around a week after the Dominican authorities implemented these new policies regarding Haitian immigration, the Dominican public reacted. Since the outbreak in Haiti, the media had been consistently associating (illegal) Haitian immigration with cholera, constructing illegal Haitians as the unsanitary subjects threatening to contaminate the superior Dominicans citizens. On November 3, 2010 there were two separate incidents of Dominican citizens attacking supposedly illegal Haitians. The first incident happened in Tamayo, in the province of Baoruco, where Dominicans threw sticks and stones at 14 illeg al Haitians who had been living in the


66 community 29 The Dominicans feared the Haitians would transmit cholera and attacked them in hopes that they would leave. The second incident occurred in Barahona, the province south of Baoruco 30 In this situation, the Dominicans used gunfire and stones on several Haitian students, shouting, "vyanse con el clera hacia sus casas, haitianos del diablo, y djennos en paz a nosotros los dominicanos. 31 The Haitians were forced to hide in order to be protected from the viole nce. These incidents present the repercussions of the media's representation of Haitians as the unsanitary citizen. These Haitians, who most likely lived in these communities before the cholera outbreak, were targeted because the media portrayed illegal H aitians as disease carriers. The discrimination is a direct result of this stigmatization and shows the progression of the outbreak turning from an issue of health to an issue of race. The threat of disease added to the pre existing fear of a "Haitian inva sion," and the Dominican authorities and the media fed the fire. The first case of cholera reported in the Dominican Republic was on November 16, 2010 32 The Public Health Minister and the President of the Dominican Medical School (CMD) revealed that a co nstruction worker, a Haitian resident in Higey, was the first confirmed case of cholera in the Dominican Republic. The authorities stated that Wilmo Louwes, 32, resided in the Dominican Republic with a work permit and had traveled to Haiti on October 31, 2010 to bring money home and returned to the Dominican Republic on November 12th. The Public Health Minister made sure to reiterate the information that the Haitian contracted the disease after 29 Snchez, Teuddy. "Dominicanos sacan a palos haitianos vivan en Tamayo ." El Nacional 3 November 2010. ( sacan a palos haitianos vivian en Tamayo ) 30 Snchez, Teuddy. Atacan y hacen huir 35 haitianos en Barahona ." El Nacional 3 November 2010. ( y hacen huir 35 haitianos en Barahona ). 31 Go with cholera back to your homes, Haitians of the devi l, and leave us Dominicans in peace. 32 "Obrero haitiano trae primer caso clera RD ." El Nacional 16 November 2010. ( haitiano trae primer caso colera RD )


67 spending time in Haiti, reinforcing the link between Haitian i mmigration and cholera. Furthermore, he assured the Dominican public that since the situation was handled quickly and efficiently, it proves that the epidemiological system in place is working; however, he mentioned that the authorities would intensify pre ventative measures. Consequently, the incident caused a series of policy changes all targeting Haitians. The Dominican government released a statement momentarily prohibiting the hiring of Haitian workers in the area of tourism and construction 33 as well a s prohibiting the return of any Haitians living in the Dominican Republic who decide to travel back to Haiti 34 The National Army even employed 1,500 members to be stationed at vulnerable areas in the border in order to reinforce these new measures 35 The fa ct is that none of these actions taken had anything to do with health. If illegal Haitians are the ones infected, how does that explain why the first case was a legal Haitian residing in the Dominican Republic? Furthermore, Haitian construction and tourism workers are given permits to work in the Dominican Republic, making them legal as well. The act of not letting legal Haitians back in after visiting Haiti serves no purpose when Haitians with legal documents are allowed to enter after going through the "q uarantine line." This explains another reason why the quarantine line is unnecessary and unrelated to health. Even after going through the quarantine, the legal Haitian was still "contaminated" with cholera. These methods to "prevent" cholera are just met hods to keep Haitians out of the Dominican Republic, because they not only threaten the health of Dominicans, but the entire Dominican civilization as well. 33 RD prohbe contratar ms haitianos sec tores turismo y construccin ." El Nacional. 17 November 2010. ( prohibe contratar mas haitianos sectores turismo y construccion ) 34 Bonillo, Teofilo and Luis Guzman. Impondrn ms controles en la fr ontera ." El Nacional 17 November 2010. ( mas controles en la frontera ) 35 Urbez, Ramn. Ejrcito dispone un cordn militar en toda la frontera ." Listn Diario 26November 2010. (http://www.l republica/2010/11/25/167929/Ejercito dispone un cordon militar en toda la frontera )


68 Since cholera does not discriminate, Dominican citizens began to contract cholera as well; howeve r, each Dominican case somehow related back to contact with a Haitian. A Dominican bus driver registered as the 16th case of cholera in the Dominican Republic explained to the media that he mainly drives in the province of San Juan, a province near the bo rder, so he comes in frequent contact with Haitians who cross the border 36 Another Dominican, who was suspected to have died of cholera, told do ctors before his death that he was working in the fields with several Haitians when he felt severe pain in his stomach and began to have continuous diarrhea 37 It was discovered that the man had actually suffered from chronic gastroenteritis, but the media still managed to turn the story into one where Haitians are linked to cholera, and if a Dominican gets infected it is due to contact with a Haitian and/or Haitians. The media found any way to remind the Dominican public that they are the sanitary citizens who are superior to Haitians. The fact that Haitians were blamed for contaminating these Dominicans with cholera jus tifies the threat of Haitians to Dominican society. By the end of the 2010 and beginning of 2011, as cholera cases in the Dominican Republic increased, so did discrimination against Haitians. Several Haitians were faced with the fear of being repatriated not only by Immigration but by Dominican neighborhood associations as well. During the first week s of January, El Nacional reported that several neighborhood associations within the city of Santiago and San Juan de la Maguana gave Haitians residing ille gally there a week to leave the 36 Pantalen, Doris. "Chofer de San Juan de la Maguana es el caso nmero 16 de clera en el pas ." Listn Diario 5 December 2010. ( la republica/2010/12/4/168969/Chofer de San Juan de la Maguana es el caso numero 16 de colera en el pais ) 37 "En Dajabn muere hombre sospechoso de clera ." El Nacional 10 December 2010. ( Dajabon mue re hombre sospechoso de colera )


69 neighborhood peacefully or they would be forced out 38 A week later the associations of Santiago gave Immigration a deadline, saying if they do not take care of the illegal Haitian problem, the neighborhoods will handle the s ituation themselves 39 The army intervened by demanding that the neighborhood associations drop the threat because repatriation is the responsibility of the Department of Immigration. However, two days later, the coordinator of the neighborhood councils in the south of Santiago formed a "brigade" consisting of 100 men who would be responsible for maintaining "limpios de haitianos," or basically, the clearing of Haitians 40 The associations blamed Haitians of bringing cholera into the community as well as accu sing them of, ...desrdenes, robos, actos reidos con la moral y las buenas costumbres, vender y consumir drogas, baarse desnudos en canales y ros...[y de ser] focos de contaminacin al ser portadores de diferentes enfermedades contagiosas 41 The member s of these associations accuse Haitians of far more than being a health threat, blaming them for crimes in the community and behaviors that lack morality. This presents a direct consequence of Haitians being represented as the unsanitary subjects, which in turn validates them as immoral and uncivilized. The constant implications in the media that Dominican culture is superior to Haitian culture, and that through this Haitians present a threat to Dominican civilization, made pre existing racialized represe ntations of Haitians even more powerful. The Dominican citizens felt the need to take matters beyond authorities, feeling that eliminating Haitians would eliminate most of the crime and pollution in the community, as well as 38 Rosario, Manuel Espinosa. "Instan haitianos salir de San Juan ." El Nacional 8 January 2011. ( haitianos salir de San Juan ). 39 Santana, Ricardo. "Vecinos de barr ios fijan plazo para sacar a haitianos." Listn Diario 14 January 2011. ( republica/2011/1/14/173438/Vecinos de barrios fijan plazo para sacar a haitianos) 40 Santana, Ricardo. "Barrios crean brigada contra indocumentados haitian os ." Listn Diario 16 January 2011. ( republica/2011/1/16/173616/Barrios crean brigada contra indocumentados haitianos ) 41 ...disorders, theft, acts at odds with the morals and good habits, selling and using drugs, bathing naked in canals and rivers...[and of being] sources of pollution by being carriers of various contagious diseases.


70 the threat of cholera and othe r diseases. These extreme measures taken by the Dominican public relate back to the concept of the power of communication and how knowledge of the epidemic was disseminated. The first reaction to the cholera outbreak in Haiti was a statement from a poli tical party, and a non health related statement from a Public Health specialist, immediately turning the issue into a political one, where Haitian immigration was the main concern. These concerns were given authority when Public Health and the Dominican go vernment adopted policies that dealt with keeping illegal Haitians out, and targeting Haitian culture in the borderland that was more susceptible to disease. Through the media, the Dominican public interpreted these changes as a verification that Haitians were the unsanitary subjects and Dominicans were the sanitary citizens. On a deeper level, this linked Haitians to immorality and pre modernity which demonstrated the inferiority of their civilization to the Dominican one. Additionally, more power is gi ven to authorities by images in the media. Many images, such as the picture displaying the emergency meeting held in the National Palace by President Fernndez ( Figure3 42 ) helped to visualize the distinction between the sanitary Dominicans and the unsanitar y Haitians. The authorities are sitting at a clean, shiny table, are wearing professional clothes, and are drinking clean water from clean glasses. The files and notepads on the table demonstrate education and literacy. Everyone looks attentive and seems t o be taking in the information and understanding it. This demonstrates the responsibility that sanitary citizens possess by being credited with accessing and understanding modern medical concepts. The image makes the text of the article more real and offic ial. In this sense, the reader is more inclined to 42 de Len, Viviano. "Gobierno dispone medidas para evitar clera penetre a RD ." Listn Diario. 26 October 2010. ( republ ica/2010/10/25/163932/Gobierno dispone medidas para evitar colera penetre a RD)


71 see these officials as the authoritative source of information concerning the cholera epidemic. Figure 3 The Dominican public, recognizing themselves as the sanitary citizens, saw it as moral respon sibility to assimilate the authoritative knowledge surrounding the epidemic. However, since the epidemic became racialized and only targeted Haitians, the public reacted with discrimination. Pre existing racialized representations and stereotypes of Hait ians, as well as a culture of anti Haitianism fueled by historical conflicts powered the discourse surrounding the disease. The consequence of these racialized representations being fixed into the discourse allowed for the policies such as the quarantine l ine where Haitians were denied agency by being forced to be washed by Dominican authorities. The discourse surrounding the disease also maintained social boundaries and racial inequalities by naturalizing the role of Haitians as the passive victims, having no power or control in terms of cholera.


72 Dominicans, proved their sanitary citizenship by giving themselves power, demonstrated by the neighborhood groups taking matters into their own hands. The transformation of the epidemic from an issue of health to an issue of politics, race, and discrimination is reminiscent of how Trujillo and Balaguer used the historical conflict between Haiti and the Dominican Republic to create the Haitian "threat" that still perpetuates today. When the Dominican authorities p resented the border region as the most vulnerable to disease, it reflects the period when Trujillo aimed to "dominicanize" the border because too many Dominicans were mixing with Haitians and adopting their habits. This historical event allowed the Dominic an public to understand why the culture of the border region was targeted. Other "preventative" methods against the cholera epidemic mirrored Trujillo's dominicanization campaign of 1937 Just as Trujillo had done, Dominican authorities eliminated (illegal ) immigration as well as bi lateral trade and established military presence at the border to enforce these laws The fact that President Fernndez changed the law for becoming a Dominican citizen before the outbreak, shows that he did not support the increa se of Haitians in the country and used the pre existing threat of Haitians and the current threat of cholera to mani pulate support from Dominicans (Holmes, 48) Genao's observation about Haitians and disease is exactly what Joaqun Balaguer argued in La i sla a revs 27 years earlier Just like Balaguer, Genao pointed out that diseases such as malaria had been eradicated in the Dominican Republic and that Haitians were to blame for bringing them back. Both Rogelio Genao and Balaguer use this "fact" to const ruct Haitians as unsanitary citizens, alluding to their immorality and lack of modernity. These similarities demonstrate how the Dominican authorities have been able to constantly manipulate the Dominican public by the


73 perpetuating the existence of a cultu re based on the superiority of Dominicans to Haitians.


74 Conclusion Through this thesis I was able to more deeply understand the nature of the Dominican Republic's relationship with Haiti and why the Dominican national identity has been consistently defi ned in relationship to Haiti. Trujillo's dictatorship in the 1930s not only promoted anti Haitianism and the fear of a Haitian invasion, but also manipulated the Dominican public to take on these sentiments out of the fear of Trujillo himself. Joaqun Bala uger was able to continue this sentiment by perpetuating the threat of Haitian immigration to la raza dominicana. The continuation of an elitist government that has represented a nationalist, anti Haitian identity has caused for social and racial inequalit ies in the Dominican Republic. As long as the anti Haitian authorities remain in power, the public will be exposed to anti Haitian propaganda, such as the case with the cholera outbreak in Haiti. The fact that the authoritative source targeted Haitian immi grants, meant that the public, who identified themselves as the receivers of this knowledge, would react in a way that would target Haitian immigrants as well: increased violence, discrimination, social inequalities, etc. As mentioned in Chapter II, the hierarchal roles formed by communication maintains social boundaries, as long as the roles remain the same in the Dominican Republic, Haitians will always be at the bottom. The only way to change the process would be to change how information is communicat ed, allowing Haitians to have some agency and active role in public discourse. Concerning discourse surrounding an epidemic, Charles Briggs brings up a point that change the way certain populations are targeted as diseased. He suggests that a more effectiv e discourse would include policies that "[regard] health and disease as conditions and concerns that are shared by everyone, not just model sanitary citizens" (Briggs and Mantini Briggs, 47). In this sense, the discourse should not distinguish sanitary cit izens from unsanitary subjects,


75 where sanitary citizens take away all responsibility from themselves for the presence of disease. In my first chapter I discussed some of the social inequalities that Haitian immigrants and Haitian Dominicans face in the D ominican Republic today, such as statelessness, violence, poor working conditions, and denial of basic human rights. It is impossible to change the past that has influenced Dominican identity, but it is possible to change the future so that Haitians are gr anted more agency in the Dominican Republic. One way to stop end the persistence of anti Haitianism would to be to re design the way that children are being educated in schools. As pointed out in previous chapters, many textbooks are promoting the differen ce between Haitians and Dominicans to children at a young age. A large scale social change is needed to help eliminate these sentiments that are often sub consciously embedded in the minds of the Dominican public. Furthermore, the elimination of the elites that have been controlling the government would result in a reduction of anti Haitianism across the country. This is demonstrated by the fact that these elites are the authoritative source of knowledge surrounding policies such as Haitian immigration. Alt hough it is hopeful that some advocacy groups are already starting to make improvements for the braceros working on sugar cane fields, I do not believe this change will come quick and easy; the history between the two nations is far too complicated. My wis h for this thesis is to make readers aware of the situation for Haitians and Haitian Dominicans in the Dominican Republic so that there is more support for groups trying to fight for basic human rights.


76 Appendix Map of Dominican Republic 43 43 "Map of Dominican Republic" University of Texas at Austin. ( )


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