The original story is from around 2018 and shows up to 19 Haitians escorted out of a Camry by Dominican Republican soldiers.
Browsing Instagram and I came across an unbelievable video showing 18 or 19 (including the driver) Black people literally crawling out of a Beige ’90s Toyota Camry. What’s the deal here, and what made them stuff themselves in a Toyota that normally seats up to five?
Here’s the video I saw below.
Thanks to replies in the comments and some context clues, not only did I find a likely explanation, I also found a video with higher definition I’m posting below.
The video likely was filmed in 2018 and shows a smuggler in a Toyota Camry stopped at the border crossing between the Dominican Republican and Haiti getting caught for hiding, as the video shows 18 presumed undocumented Haitians.
Some commenters say there were actually 19 in one Camry, not counting the driver.
So, why are these Haitians trying to sneak into the Dominican Republic?
First, a map of Haiti and the Dominican Republic should clear some broader, geological questions up.
Both Caribbean countries share a common island (Hispaniola.)
Like so many undocumented migrants making their way to other countries, these Haitians are simply trying to make a better life for themselves.
While both countries suffered colonization and dictatorships, because the Dominican Republic and the powers that be exploited resources like sugarcane and tobacco, and were, as opposed to Haiti, more open to exporting as part of the world economy, the Dominican Republic developed a stronger economy compared to Haiti.
The Dominican Republic benefited from what’s termed “extractive economic growth” and as time passed and their economy grew, there was a marked difference between the health of either country.
It’s not worth it for some Haitians to stay put, seeing how there are little to no opportunities. They’re willing to risk it, cramming themselves into a Toyota to make it into the economically better Dominican Republic.
If you’re at all interested about the history of either country and why they’re so different, this blog post from “The Very Hungry Nomads” does a better job at explaining it than I Did.
Not surprising when researching this blog post I came across another story with video from 2020 with the exact same circumstances, Dominican Republic border guards stopped a Toyota Camry smuggling 17 Haitians. (click here to check out the details of the story.)
Border guards looked up this Camry’s plates and when the car (painted green) did not match the color they had on file (red,) they grew suspicious.
After searching for previous incident records involving a red Camry they found out this Camry’s been stopped before for smuggling undocumented Haitians into the country.
Check out that video below.
Happening mid-Pandemic, the country’s strained health care system on top of an already struggling Haiti pushed these Haitians to hire a smuggler who could sneak them in.
According to the story, they paid between 5,000-6,000 Dominican Pesos (about $88) for that cramped and dangerous ride.
It’s worth keeping these stories in mind when we have our own problems. I don’t know what you’re going through, but a lot of my readers are from the United States and for the majority of you, are your daily concerns as bad as these folks?