Video Duration 01 minutes 51 seconds

Why is Chile flying migrants back home?

Chile returned a planeload of immigrants to their native country on Wednesday in the first in a series of ‘humanitarian flights’ criticised by migrant groups as ‘forced deportations’.

Chile has begun repatriating migrants who want to go home for free.

The first and largest group are Haitians – with more than a thousand signed up to the programme.

They are the first 176 beneficiaries of a government Humanitarian Repatriation Programme for migrants who can not afford to leave.

They are being given a free flight home in exchange for not returning to Chile for at least nine years.

Al Jazeera’s Lucia Newman reports from Santiago.