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Dominican Republic-Haiti relations

This week’s likely news stories: Dominican Republic set to deport individuals of Haitian descent; Mexican high court paves way for full marriage equality;  U.S. and Venezuelan officials meet in Haiti, address strained relations; Nicaraguans protest Chinese-funded canal project; top ELN commander killed in Colombia

On Wednesday, the Dominican Republic government denied a deadline extension request for the Plan Nacional de Regularización (National Regularization Plan) from 18 advocacy organizations dedicated to defending Haitian migrant workers’ rights.

Likely top stories this week: the deadline passes for children of undocumented immigrants to apply for legal status in the Dominican Republic; U.S. companies stand to lose billions of dollars in Venezuelan currency losses; Michelle Bachelet moves to end Chile’s abortion ban; relatives of Mexico’s 43 missing students meet with UN officials in Geneva; Puerto Rico’s economy continues to suffer.

In his first trip to the Dominican Republic, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addressed the heated topic of citizenship laws, urging Dominican and Haitian leaders to collaborate on a humane solution.

Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and several members of his cabinet met with Dominican officials including Gustavo Montalvo, chief of staff to Dominican President Danilo Medina, on Tuesday as part of a newly formed bilateral commission. The group discussed various issues including the controversial September 23 ruling that would strip descendants of Haitian migrants of their citizenship, as well as commerce, migration, and security.

Government officials from the Dominican Republic and Haiti will meet next month to discuss a controversial court decision that would take citizenship away from thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent, Haiti’s foreign minister Pierre Richard Casimir said on Thursday.  A commission made up of five officials from both countries will meet in Ouanaminthe, a town on the Haitian border, on January 7.

The United Nations is urging the Dominican Republic to restore nationality to individuals affected by a September 23 Constitutional Court ruling that stripped thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent of their citizenship, rendering them stateless.

Approximately 100 people were deported from the Dominican Republic to Haiti this week following a fatal attack against an elderly Dominican couple near the Haitian border.

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