A 19-year-old Haitian was reportedly beaten and hanged in a public square in Santiago, Dominican Republic, the Haiti Sentinel reports.
The victim, identified only as “Tulile,” was hanged in the square of Ercilia Pepin, his hands and feet tied up, near the María José Cabral and Baez hospital, where he reportedly worked shining shoes.
According to the news site, some are decrying the hanging as a hate crime and saying that Tulile was attacked simply for being Haitian.
Following the killing, there were protests during which demonstrators burned the Haiti flag. Among the organizations burning the flag was El Ciruelito, who, the Sentinel notes, reportedly describe themselves as being against the Dominican Republican government for allowing the “invasion of aliens.”
Dominican Today, however, reports that authorities have ruled out racism as the motivation for the young man’s death. The authorities are reportedly looking for two other Haitians who were with him at a betting parlor, where the victim was last seen alive.
According to Dominican Today, National Police spokesman Damián Arias said that the two Haitian suspects are suspected of stealing money from a winning bet valued at about $130 (Dominican pesos, $6,000).