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July 2014, Volume 21, Number 3

Latin America

Haiti-Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic on June 2, 2014 opened offices to allow Haitians who have been living in the Dominican Republic since October 2011 to obtain a secure legal status. However, many Haitians in the Dominican Republic do not have Haitian identity documents such as a Haitian identity card, passport or birth certificate.

Haitians in the Dominican Republic complain that it is the Haitian government that is slowing their quest for a secure legal status by being slow to issue documents and charging high fees for them, $60 for a package of IDs. The Dominican Republic plans a crackdown on unauthorized foreigners early in 2015.

There may be 500,000 Haitians in the Dominican Republic. In June 2014, over 50,000 tried to regularize their status, but fewer than 20 percent had any kind of Haitian documentation and only 100 met all of the requirements.

Costa Rica. Costa Rica reported 378,000 foreign residents in 2013, almost eight percent of the 4.7 million Costa Rican residents, including 186,000 who were employed in the country. A quarter of the foreign workers in Costa Rica are domestic workers.

Three-fourths of the foreigners are Nicaraguans (mostly unauthorized), followed by seven percent from other Central America├┐countries and four percent each from Colombia and the US. Costa Rica is the only Latin American country with more US residents there than there are Costa Rican nationals in the US.

Honduras. Honduras, with the world's highest murder rate, was accused in May 2014 of violating human rights by promoting a militarized police force and using its army for domestic law enforcement. The US Department of State's 2013 human rights report said there were "unlawful and arbitrary killings by security forces, organized criminal elements and others."