After a meeting yesterday between Haitian and Dominican authorities that lasted for about four hours, the parties reached an agreement that establishes the reopening of the Dominican-Haitian border to trade in goods between the two countries.
This conciliation step in the commercial dispute comes just one day after the Haitians radicalized their position of closing the border strip through the land stretch with Dajabón, worsening the crisis even more, by stopping more strongly the traffic of patanas and trucks, and the entry of Dominicans who perform specialized jobs in that country.
This caused that the binational market scheduled to reopen last Friday here ended in failure, due to the new provisions adopted by the Haitian side.
Meanwhile, yesterday, in another discordant note with the attitude of the neighboring country, the Minister of Foreign Relations, Roberto Álvarez, rejected a publication by the Haitian media Rezo Nodwes, entitled “Alert !, in which he warns President Jovenel Moise of an alleged call from the Dominican side to discuss a new delimitation of the border territory
To this, the minister responded by ensuring that during the meeting between Haitian and Dominican authorities there was no talk of a new delimitation of the border, but the sole purpose of that day on October 21 “to determine the trajectory of the dividing line between the registers 239 , 240 and 241, as well as the location of the 251 register ”.
Solution to the problem.
At the meeting it was agreed to gradually allow commercial exchange between Haitians and Dominicans tomorrow, Monday, but in small quantities and that on Saturday the date of reopening to trade will be definitively reported.
This agreement also allows Dominicans and Haitians who work in various areas of the economy, both here and in Haiti, to transit without problems, and after finishing their working hours to return to their countries.
The meeting was held in the assembly hall of the local mayor’s office and was led by the mayors of Dajabón, Santiago Riverón, and of Juana Méndez (Haiti), Lumber Demetrius, respectively.
At the meeting, the authorities of both countries promised to establish sanitary measures to prevent traders and buyers from getting Covid-19.
Cause of problems
Haiti’s impediment to the purchase of merchandise in the Dominican Republic by its nationals created a lot of tension for the border crossing, because upon reaching their territory they were seized and thrown into the Massacre River.
The problem became more intense when groups of civilians with firearms, sticks and other objects formed on the Haitian side, acting in the confiscation of merchandise from their compatriots.
As it became known in the area, this action was allegedly carried out by employees at the service of the Juana Méndez City Council.
The protests of those affected continued all this day of conflicts due to the measures put into effect by the Haitian authorities, as the commercial exchange in this area of Dajabón received nothing.
Likewise, Dominican citizens who carry out specialized work in Haiti, such as painting, plumbing, electricity and mechanics, denounced the restriction to their entry into the territory of the neighboring country.
No RD will enter
What further aggravated the problem was a warning from the Haitian head of Migration in Juana Méndez, Joseph Faduith, when he said that nothing would enter his country from the Dominican Republic, although he set the exception for the Caracol free zone, after an agreement with his executives.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Juana Méndez, Lumber Demetrius, was firm in warning that the time has come to establish clear rules in the exchange of business with the Dominican Republic.
“They want it all …”
He argued that there must be equity between the two countries, claiming that the Dominicans “want it all for themselves.” Demetrius argues that a round of dialogue is needed between the authorities of the two countries to reach an agreement and establish mechanisms on the functioning of the two markets, “because now it is not one.”
In the city of Juana Méndez, a few meters from the urban center of Dajabón, the European Community built a building to house the bilateral market there.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Dajabón, Santiago Riverón, said that the municipal authorities of Dajabón are accompanying local merchants to articulate a pilot plan that allows the market facilities to be used again.
authorities say they intend to reestablish the common fair, but without the massive crowds of people.
Last Friday, hundreds of Haitians lined up at dawn, trying to enter Dominican territory, but could not do so, because the Haitian authorities closed the gate with padlocks and so did their Dominican peers.
Haitian merchants and buyers crossed the Masacre river and acquired some merchandise, but upon arrival in their country, inspectors from the Juana Méndez City Council took them away and then threw them into the water source.
Other Haitians who, in an attempt to circumvent military surveillance to enter Dominican soil in an irregular manner, are arrested and returned by Dominican immigration to their country, military officials said. This is not pleasing to Haiti, which alleges mistreatment of its compatriots by the military, something that the Cesfront and the Army have denied.