On October 1937 the Dominican Republic under the leadership of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, committed a state-sponsored genocide known today as the Parsley Massacre. Over 20,000 Haitians were killed in the borderlands of Haiti within five-days.
Once Rafael Trujillo took power in the Dominican Republic he made it very clear to the public of his antihaitianismo. To cover up his actions Trujillo used the claim that Haitians were stealing cattle and crops from Dominican land owners. From October 2-8, 1937 over 20,000 Haitians were killed with guns, machetes, clubs and knives by Dominican soldiers.
The name for the genocide came from the shibboleth that Rafael Trujillo had his soldiers apply to determine wether or not those living on the borderlands of Haiti were native Dominicans or immigrant Haitians. The soldiers during the massacre would hold up a parsley to someone and would ask “What is this?” and the pronunciation of the word would determine the fate of the person.
A majority of those killed during the genocide were born in the Dominican Republic.
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