Sarodj Bertin Durocher is a Haitian lawyer, best known as a beauty pageant contestant. Bertin was born in Haiti, and is the daughter of Mireille Durocher and Jean Bertin. Bertin’s mother, who was a lawyer and an outspoken critic of then president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was murdered on March 28, 1995 in Port-au-Prince. After her mother’s murder, she was sent to live in the Dominican Republic.
After the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, Bertin entered the Miss Haiti Universe contest and won. She represented Haiti in the Miss Universe 2010 beauty pageant held in Las Vegas on August 23, 2010. Bertin believed that competing in Miss Universe would give the people of Haiti a voice, stating, “there are many people who want to help but don’t know how and sometimes they need a voice to tell them what are the necessities of the people. I want the people, through me, to be who says what their necessities are.” On 25 October 2012, she won the Reina Hispanoamericana 2012 pageant.
Since the deadline for Haitians to register with immigration authorities passed on June 17th, many Haitians turned to Sarodj’s social networks asking her for her opinion and requesting that she speak up for Haitians. Sarodj who’s been pretty vocal against posting anything about the matter on her instagram agreed to do a quick interview with me where she explained her position on the Haitian-Dominican deportations.
Do you live in Haiti or The Dominican Republic?
Right now I live in Dominican Republic, I still go to Haiti almost every month, and I work in the Dominican Republic.
You put 200% Haitian on your instagram page, is there a story behind the reason you over specify your Haitian descent?
I put 200%Haitian because that is how I feel, I have always represented Haiti, and sometimes people create stories about my background saying I am half Dominican, or that my parents are Dominicans, and it’s not true, I am all Haitian, and only Haitian.
Since the deadline to register with immigration authorities in the DR passed, what have it been like living in the Dominican Republic?
A lot of immigrants in Dominican Republic are in a difficult situation because they don’t know what to do since they didn’t get everything they needed to register on the “plan de regularisation”. Part of the Haitians (almost 25,000) immigrants have decided to go back to Haiti on their own and others are expecting to get an extension of the deadline. The deportations haven’t started, but the Dominican Government said they will not be doing a massive deportation.
What is it like being a public figure of both descent with everything going on right now?
I am not of both decent, I am only HAITIAN. I am a public figure who works in Dominican Republic.
What are your views of the Black Lives Matter and Haitian Lives Matter protest in the United States?
I respect all kind of opinion, but I believe most of the people who are protesting in the States do not really know the situation. I’ve seen a lot of people attacking the Dominican Republic and showing old videos as if they are happening now. The situation between Dominican Republic and Haiti has a solution, and it has to be negotiated between both governments, respecting they countries and the people.
What are you views on the conflict and division between some Haitians and Dominicans due to the passing of this law?
I do not see the division. Dominicans are Dominicans; and Haitians are Haitians. If there is a law in Haiti we have to respect it, if there is a law in the states we must respect it, so if the Dominicans have a law, we can’t do more than respect it, and if we are interested in working or living in their country, then we need to do the process as their laws demand us to or negotiate new terms.
In your opinion, what do you think can be done by both Governments to alleviate the problem?
I think the Haitian government should have renegotiate with the Dominican Government before the deadline, when we wait for the last moment a lot of doors get closed. I think both governments have to maintain communication about how and what they want to do, so they can always respect the integrity of the people.
Are you involved in helping any of the Haitian-Dominicans being deported right now?
As I told you before they are not being deported. If they have an illegal status eventually they will be, but right now, the Haitians who’ve been going back to Haiti are the ones who’ve decided to. I am trying to help the ones who got registered in the plan, but don’t have all their documents yet so they’ll understand the next steps to get all of their documents.
You mentioned on instagram you are involved with charities and give back to Haiti.
My foundation name is Sarodj for a Purpose and I work with orphans in Haiti. I have been helping 105 orphans for more than 5 years, with education, food, school supplies, toys, clothing etc. I am working to build a technical school in Haiti for those kids, and other orphans in the country.
Is there a reason you haven’t posted anything on your social networks to bring awareness to whats going on?
People are asking me to post, but most of the things they’re asking me to post are not the things I see here. I can’t post something because someone wants me to. I usually don’t use my instagram for politics, but I do use it for charity. I don’t think Dominicans and Haitians have anything against each other, I believe its normal to have immigration problems when you share a border.
How do you feel about the people who are saying you should be more vocal and bring awareness to the people being deported since you’re considered a representative for Haiti?
The people saying that don’t know how many times I’ve spoken about it, they just want me to post something on instagram, and my decision it’s not to do so. I give all the interviews, and answer all the questions, that is being vocal for me.
Truly disappointed in her responses. As a Haitian “public figure” you have the responsibility of expanding awareness through whatever outlet you have access to. She just doesn’t want to lose that job at Se Habla Espanol or whatever…smh
I lost what little respect for her that I had. She doesn’t represent me or my heritage. I think she is a sellout. I will no longer entertain her so called celebrity status or whatever she feels she is. As far as I am concerned she is a public figure because she is a horrible sellout. I am ashamed of her.
What would you have her do? speak against the Dominican government in whose country she is a guest? Her responses are measured, but represent an effort of good will. What Haiti could use are patriots in Haiti and foreign allies to put pressure on the Dominicans to do what is just for our people there.
Maybe you are one of the people who make a fortune in those Foundation, spreading lies and angers between ours country. The Foundations are the only which get benefit front the lies in International Television.
I definitely agree with Kathleen!! Truly disappointed and UNfollowing her as a matter of fact!! 🙁
Since you mentioned her mother was a vocal opponent of Jean-Bertrand Aristide when she was murdered, the implicarion is clear.
To be fair and balanced, you should have followed that with the fact that as a lawyer her mother counted among her clients General Raoul Cedras, who was tried and convicted in absentia for his participation in the systematic murders of ten of thousands of poor, dark-skinned Haitians. And Eugene Baillergeau, a commercial airplane pilot and known drug trafficker high on cocaine when his Colombian partners shot him in Durocher-Bertin’s company.
Well if she is the public figure that should allegedly be speaking up or speaking for the people, what do you say of the PRESIDENT?…I mean isn’t he ultimate public figure that drunkenly got on stage with Swizz Beatz and brushed the issue aside as if it were of no concern this past weekend? He basically spit in the face of anyone who In my opinion Aristide and now Martelly both have proven that they have no business governing a sovereign nation. Lamothe who was prob the best EDUCATED of the candidates running for office was barred from running by an electoral council that is faithful to Martelly…yet no one protested that?
I believe he had his wife run only to be disqualified so that he could have some credibility in the Lamothe situation. Unfortunately Haiti will need to experience an occupation or dictatorship in order to improve. I love my people (Haitians & Dominicans) but we are the biggest hypocrites ever due to year of year lack of education in BOTH countries…lack of education breeds ignorance no matter where you are in the world!
long story short she holds no power or clout in making a any decisions in Haiti, yet you’ve lost respect for her. lol…You have low self esteem and want someone that you see as “popular” to come reaffirm your short sighted opinions…smh…
No, what ppl are looking for are those with political and media clout to speak the truth and hopefully build a bridge over the gap of relations between the two countries. She would have been ideal because she is not only Haitian but lives and works in the DR.
Her responses were dry and with no emotion. No one is looking for her to solve any problems. Just speak honestly.
The true work is required from the ppl of Haiti, the government and Haitian diaspora.
Stick to the topic…
there is no topic to stick to mon frere….why does her opinion even matter? lol
Will, her opinion matters because she had a chance to support people whose ancestors came from the same place as hers, yet she showed that she is gutless!
lol…again, who is she for hr opinion to matter?…her words will not change policy or public opinion….it seems to me that her statement displays LOGICAL reasoning, not EMOTIONAL as alot of people seem to be applying to the situation…she doesn’t owe you a statement that reaffirms YOUR personal opinion be cause you fail to apply logic…IF (because this is all speculation right now) the DR is deporting Haitian-Dominicans (Haitians born in DR), then that is shameful….IF the DR begins to deport ILLEGAL immigrants, then that is their right as a sovereign nation…
Let’s not mix Apples with oranges, Sweet Miki as a selected president of the International and Leonel Fernandez, is staying True to him self… and doing what he is told… Unfortunately. However Ms Bertin as a lawyer should know better..This second interview was made for damage control purposes, but did not acheive the expected result. Yes she is a public figure who is doing good for the children of Haïti, bravo and Thank you. But defending the Haitian identity and Haitian lifes, she is falling short.
ahhh ok…so a former miss haiti who has been anointed by you as the most prominent human rights lawyer in Haiti should know better, while the ACTUAL LEADER of the country can just brush this aside the situation is just doing what he is told…i think i understand now (sarcasm)
Hey bro will, no disrespect to your comments and old girl, but she is clueless of what is really going on in DR. I have have a friend of mine, she lives in DR, she is my source of info.
Having people with dressing in army uniform show up at your door pulling you out saying you have leave the country and giving you a ride to the border. What do you call that?
I’m disappointed in her. I feel like she’s in denial and she doesn’t see the real issues. What about all the Haitiens that’s getting killed in Dominican Republic. It’s not all about registering and following the law, they don’t have any respect for the Haitiens people in Dominican Republic. She is a sellout.
Sweet Haitiens she lives in DR and knows first hand what’s going on with Haitians over there. You as many others are just focused in DR, but the truth is that haitians are been deported massively from everywhere- Bahama, USA, Brazil, Jamaica, Canada, Cuba, etc, A she said every country has its immiimmigration laws and we must respect that. Don’t blame her for haitian’s problems anywhere, blame the politicians and oligarchy that do nothing to improve the life of the people in Haiti instead of stealing, and encourage people to leave the country and send money to Haity by living illigaly in other countries. They should create the conditions so that people could live and work in their land- Haiti.
When a country signs international treaties and conventions, those conventions and treaties become the law of the land,,,
DR has been trading in slavery since 1926.
DR now owns the descendants of those slaves. Just like the US couldn’t dump its black population after abolishing slavery, hard as it tried.
Learn your real History..,
Stick to the topic mon frère…
Wow. You need to go back to Reading & Comprehension.
My last commwnt was a response to Victor’s comment.
Amen Hugues… Amen!
let not forget that we willingly traded the “slaves” to DR…
Baby, you are a liar. And I bet you haven’t come to DR.
I’m disappointed but then again I’m not surprised she is from the elite class in Haiti and does not suffer from discrimination living in the DR as a poorer dark skin Haitian would so she doesn’t understand what these people are going through
I was among those who backed her during the Miss Haiti 2010 pageant, I truly thought she was sincere about her loveand interest for Haiti but unfortunately, It seems that I was dead wrong. Can we be mad after all? She was raised in the Dominican Republic, lives,works and looks like them, it is pretty much «her» country. In her own words
“I don’t think Dominican Republic hates Haitians at all. What I believe is that there are many international organizations, international interests that want to create this chaos between the DR and Haiti,”
It seems she used the earthquake bandwagon to gain exposure… and it worked well smh.
Just read the comment section
I travel to the DR every year sometimes more than once and I must say that for the most part I have seen Haitians happily living and working in DR side-by-side with Dominicans. My family is from the capital, Santo Domingo, and in and around that city I have met Haitians who were students, construction workers, street vendors (primarily the “cocoteros” – coconut juice sellers), beach vendors in Boca Chica (hair braiders, food sellers, masseuses), and even professionals working in resorts as timeshare sellers to French speakers. Sarodj Bertin is correct! The DR basically implemented an amnesty program by registering hundreds of thousands of Haitians that were in the country illegally. Those that were registered as Dominicans incorrectly were given Dominican citizenship under a law passed this January. Enough is enough with the DR bashing from Haiti and CARICOM. The Bahamas implemented it’s own program and is deporting Haitians while the DR has given papers to illegal Haitians yet there is no call to boycott the Bahamas. Enough of the race and discrimination card, and calls for boycott! DR is not perfect, it’s just as poor and corrupt as Haiti but it is a sovereign nation with the right to control the flow of migrants like the United States, European Union, Bahamas, Jamaica and all the Caricom nations.
I do not really understand some of those comments. The woman is not part of the government. I agree with her. We should not forget how her mom got killed and yet still justice hasn’t been served. Since that time, she has been living or in hiding into the other side which is DR. Now, you guys want her to be Haitian enough to talk like a wild animal; then next thing you know, she is back in Haiti to live among the same people who killed her mother years ago and still have enough power to persecute her by fear of reprisal or vengeance. Besides that, she is a lawyer just like her mom. I think she is a very smart person the way she handles this situation; she cannot do or say otherwise because she knows better and there is one life to live. Unless, you guys have a safe place for her to go live after she says what you guys wanting her to say on the deportation issue on behalf of our brothers and sisters. I suggest you guys to see the bigger picture here while understanding where that girls came from and shed ended up living in DR. I’m pretty sure she would have had a different opinion if she wasn’t caught in between. As young as she is, let’s hope that she doesn’t make any mistake that compromise her life and her future while those in charge are handling things just like they don’t know what they are doing and show that they were not ready at all.
Her father is a presidential candidate
You cannot really judge her until you have walked in her shoes. I believe she is doing the best that she can in a very bad situation. She should not be responsible for what the Haitian and the Dominican government have allowed to happen to their people. I am hoping that there will be a good and amicable resolution to this problem. In the meantime I personally will continue to boycott the DR .I don’t buy their products and will not vacation nor visit that part of the world.
I agree with her she is not responsible for this problem in Dr after what she being through she must be careful. Public figure or not seem like politic she put that on the side she have her own life to live.
Shame on her! she was more pro Dominican than Haitian in most of her responses. As far I am concerned, I think we really need people who are more knowledgeable about the haitian causes, and of course, our history and specially our relation with the dominican republic so that we can be represented more respectfully on internationally.
If any of you cared to learn about what the Haitian government, under Aristide did to her mother, you wouldn’t be expecting so damn much of her…before you are so quick to jump on the judgment wagon go learn something about the person you are crucifying but wait…that might make it very hard to judge or hate her. Haters! We have so much hate and fear in us that it makes us numb and lack empathy.
My mother was a big supporter of Aristide and as an adult when I look back at her motives, I realize its the same motivation that black and light skin Haitians have always have…pure hatred of the “other,” the person a few skin shades too light or too dark on the color spectrum. That man was vile and at the end of the day…even though he talked about saving the poor black masses, his ass still ended up taking a light skin mulate. That is what it was always about… “voye je w anro” meant look to the mountains to take what they have… their things and their wives to become the new oppressor.