Dominican Republic Reopens Trade With Haiti, Which Decides To Keep Its Border Closed

After almost a month of having closed trade with Haiti due to the water conflict with this half of the island, the government of the Dominican Republic reopens it .

Haitians on the border with the Dominican Republic

Photo: EFE/ Luis Tavárez


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Leer en español: República Dominicana reabre comercio con Haití, que decide mantener su frontera cerrada

The Dominican Republic reopened trade with Haiti this Wednesday, suspended for almost a month, but the neighboring country decided to keep its business closed, making it impossible for its citizens to enter Dominican territory.

On September 15, the Dominican Government completely closed the border with Haiti in retaliation for the construction of a canal that seeks to divert water from the Masacre border river to Haitian territory.

Almost a month later, the Dominican Executive decided to reopen this Wednesday to commerce, although limited , through what it called "commercial corridors", under strong security controls.

When opening the gate in the Dominican province of Dajabón, an opening that was delayed due to a fire, now controlled, in the market, the Dominican authorities observed that Haiti decided to keep its gate closed, thus affecting the reopening of commerce.

On the Haitian side, "the door is closed," Santiago Riverón, mayor of Dajabón, the border point with the greatest commercial activity between both countries, told EFE. "They were going to let (the Haitians) in but they haven't come," the official said.

Hours before, Lumax Demetrius, mayor of Juana Méndez, bordering Dajabón, had already warned that they will keep the border gate closed and asked his compatriots not to cross to the Dominican side.

The Dominican Government announced on Monday that the so-called trade corridors will operate with "strict military control measures and mandatory biometric registration" in the provinces of Dajabón, Elías Piña, Independencia and Pedernales, bordering Haiti, with the aim of "facilitating trade in essential Dominican products such as food and medicine", and with an eye especially on children.

The Dominican president himself, Luis Abinader, said that trade would be able to enter starting today, although limited, so certain items are excluded.

Thus, the export of electronic products, cement, rods and other construction materials will not be allowed to "prevent the construction of structures that threaten our environmental assets," said the Dominican cabinet, referring to works such as those of the canal on the Haitian shore. del Masacre, as that river is called in Haiti, called Dajabón in the Dominican Republic.

They investigate fire in border market

The reopening of the border gate was scheduled for 8:00 a.m. local time (12:00 GMT), but was delayed almost two hours due to the fire that broke out this morning in the binational market of Dajabón, causing no victims, but significant material losses, an incident that is being investigated by the authorities.

In total, 28 modules were burned in the market, Riverón told EFE, who specified that some of these stalls belong to Haitians, who the authorities of their country have not allowed to leave to verify their conditions.

After being alerted by the Police, the Dajabón firefighters immediately went to the scene of the incident this morning and, given the magnitude of the fire, firefighters from nearby areas also went there.

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