A woman holds the gold she found this week. Image by Ben Depp. Haiti, 2012.

Haiti’s Gold Rush

Riches beckon from beneath Haiti’s hills, and mining companies are hoping to lock in huge tax breaks to get at them.

Deep in Haiti’s northern mountains, a half-dozen supervisors at a mining exploration site spent their days playing dominoes at a folding table next to a helicopter pad. For weeks they waited in La Miel, off a dirt road deep in the countryside, for Haiti’s government to give them the go-ahead to search for the gold they believe is buried in the hills around them.

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PHOTO: Haitians face persecution across Dominican border

Merchants cross the Haitian-Dominican border in Jimaní (JACOB KUSHNER)

Haitians Face Persecution Across Dominican Border

When a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, in January 2010, the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, responded immediately by sending doctors, rescue teams, and over $34 million worth of emergency aid. Since then, the Dominican government has constructed a state-of-the-art university in northern Haiti and worked with Haiti’s new government to improve conditions across the border.

But neither the Dominican state nor the majority of its citizens have shown any such mercy to the estimated 500,000 to 1 million Haitians and Dominicans of Haitian descent living in their midst.

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