Sustainable Suits

“We’re not identified as traitors of our homeland in Santa María”

The Jesuit Eduardo García Tamayo proposes to consolidate the hospitality in Dominicans even if they are labeled as “traitors” together with the Company of Jesus.

The controversial sentence No. 168-13 issued by the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic has generated a great debate within the nautical boundaries of the country and abroad. With positions for and against, the Centro Bonó and projects of the Company of Jesus in Latin America and the Caribbean have developed a social media campaign named “Hospitality with the migrant population,” launched in the Dominican capital on January 20th.

In the province of La Vega (Northern Region), the Jesuits that coordinate the media empire and social-educational institutions in that demarcation, and which are led by priest Eduardo García Tamayo, assume their share of the campaign’s program with distance education, publications and accompaniment through the radio frequencies 590 AM and 97.9 FM.

With this initiative, García Tamayo expressed his opinion about the migration situation in our country and the subsequent treatment and relationships given after the statement of the regulator:

For your convenience, here is the transcription of the declarations of priest Eduardo about the Dominican-Haitian relationship after the judgment of the Constitutional Court:

García Tamayo: I think the situation is furring. It was not sudden. It wasn’t only because of the sentence. I think the situation and the relationship between the two countries on a commercial level and political level got a bit furry when some action was taken. In this case, I think the action started in Haiti, when they did not allow the entry of certain goods there. Borders were closed, stood up for serious type of health requirements, etc. All this in a framework were they missed a conversation. Haitian authorities did not wait until they had a dialogue; they did not convene. Measures just came out as is and that it obviously created a bad atmosphere in Dominican Republic; felt we had lost some of the atmosphere of good neighborliness.

In this context, then appears the sentence of the Constitutional Court 168-13 that disturb even more, more generally and in an international setting, the relations between the Dominican Republic and Haiti and all Latin America.

Jesenia De Moya Correa: And the world even, one might say.

García Tamayo: Yes, that’s right. There was a great confusion. It has been a very ambiguous discourse by various representatives, mainly from officials. I would say, they have been mixing different types of measures as if it were a single theme; in fact there is none. The sentence speaks of a plan to regularize foreigners and also talks about the loss of citizenship or nationality or none affiliation to a number of people who were born, live, grew up, studied, have formed family in Dominican Republic and suddenly they are told: No, you thought you had the nationality but and you are not…

So we have been mixing these two aspects as if the two have the same value and the same impact in the minds of the public and they do not.

There is a first aspect regarding the regularization plan that responds to the desire of, and I think that everyone would like, especially those working with migrants, and especially who work with Haitians, a clamoring for this coming regularization plan since years before.

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Who should had made that plan, who should had stood up with the different devices for a regularization of the migratory flow and that immigrants who are here regularize their situation was none other than the Dominican government. It is their responsibility. And the Dominican government extended, postponed repeatedly and systematically the setting up of the regularization plan and that it has hurt many people, starting with the same migrants who have been forced to remain in that condition and not undocumented when they could defend themselves, to assert their right to do, because no record anywhere recognized them as migrant admitted to Dominican Republic with some form of status.

Thank God that the regularization plan is starting to add up. Its provisions do not fully satisfy the desires of the various departments, organizations, NGOs, international institutions that deal with the matter. But essentially, it is a step that satisfies everyone. We all were waiting and finally this is going to start. Inclusive, the Dominican government has been talking with the Haitian authorities with these roundtables which have recently been taking place at the border, so that the Haitian authorities are the first to provide its nationals proper identification, i.e. passport, card, permits … All there is to be consider as needed.

In his recent declaration, priest Eduardo García Tamayo commented on the label given to individuals and institutions that defend the rights of illegal migrants in the country as “traitors to the Motherland”:

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Focused and full of patience, priest Eduardo talks about the last incidents between the bilateral relation with the perspective of social justice, ensuring the rights enshrined in international covenants and the Dominican Constitution with empathy and wisdom. In plain simple words in his office, stressed the social commitment and desire for democracy by fighting the followers of the doctrine of Ignatius of Loyola.


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