SANTO DOMINGO (Reuters) - Haitian workers in Dominican Republic’s top tourist resort killed a man in a clash with local residents after a fellow worker was shot dead by a building foreman in a pay dispute, police said on Sunday.
Police stepped up patrols in the east coast resort of Bavaro, Punta Cana, after the incident on Saturday in which the Haitians armed with sticks and stones clashed with locals, killing one and injuring another.
They were retaliating for the death earlier in the day of a Haitian construction worker who was shot and killed by a Dominican building site foreman who drew his pistol after the Haitian workers protested about their wages. The foreman fled.
Punta Cana, located 170 miles east of the Dominican Republic capital Santo Domingo, is a popular Caribbean beach resort drawing large numbers of foreign tourists each year.
In the tumultuous history of the island of Hispaniola — divided between French- and Creole-speaking Haiti to the west and Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic to the east — there have been past violence and clashes between their citizens, especially on the common border.
Haiti, hit by a devastating January 12 earthquake, is the poorest state in the Americas and more than a million Haitians live and work in the wealthier Dominican Republic, most in the construction and agricultural sectors.
This number is believed to have increased sharply following the Haitian quake, which killed up to 300,000 people.
Reporting by Manuel Jimenez; editing by Pascal Fletcher and Mohammad Zargham