SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — A Dominican foreman fatally shot a Haitian worker during an argument over pay, touching off racial clashes Sunday at a construction site that killed a Dominican worker and injured another, police said.
The flare-up happened near the beach resorts of Bavaro-Punta Cana, an area in the east of the Dominican Republic that is popular with foreign tourists.
According to a police statement, Haitians working on the residential project were demanding unpaid wages Saturday when the foreman, whose identity was not released, drew a pistol and fired, killing 32-year-old Issac Louis.
The next day, Haitian workers attacked their Dominican supervisors with rocks and wooden poles, beating 34-year-old Maximiliano Hierro to death and wounding 36-year-old William Leonel de la Cruz, police said.
Police said they were searching for both the foreman and the Haitian workers accused in Sunday's attack while stepping up patrols in the area to guard against further violence.
Construction, agriculture and other industries in the Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic depend on the labor of Haitian migrants who often cross the border illegally. The darker-skinned, French Creole-speaking Haitians are resented by many Dominicans, leading to discrimination, mass deportations and even lynchings.
Accusations that a Haitian killed a Dominican woman in 2005 provoked widespread home burnings and the deportation of 3,000 people. Last year, the beheading of a Haitian purportedly in retaliation for the murder of a Dominican man set off rock-throwing and vandalism at the Dominican Embassy and consulate in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince.