Haitians Flee To Brazil To Escape Turbulence On Their Island

Viva

In the wake of extensive political and economic turmoil on their island, Haitians are finding solace in perhaps one of the most unexpected places: Brazil.

After the earthquake of 2010, thousands of Haitians began migration to the country, in hopes of finding a new life. According to Atlanta Blackstar, the United Nations reported “an unprecedented number of people displaced from their homes—one in 113 people in the world—migration and asylum has once again come under the spotlight.”

In 2015, the Brazilian government granted residency to almost 44, 000 Haitians.

READ: The Dominican Republic Cannot Afford Mass Expulsion Of Haitians

Haiti’s Past and the push for migration

The island experienced a past of enslavement from France gaining independence in 1804, and occupation from the United States from 1915-1934. Haiti has a turbulent relationship with the Dominican Republic: a 2013 Dominican Republic court ruling reportedly ended the citizenship of around 200,000 Haitians on the island.

Black Lives Matter In Brazil

While Brazil is applauded for welcoming Haitian immigrants into its borders, the country has its own problematic history with racism, particularly as more Black Brazilians are more likely to live in poverty in favelas and encounter police violence in their neighborhoods. As more Haitians migrate, discussing social issues of race in Brazil is becoming increasingly important.

READ: Dominican-Haitian Solidarity Floats At The #DRParade