Dominican Military Keeps Peace at Cross-Border Market

Tensions have escalated between the Dominican Republic and Haiti since the DR Constitutional Court issued a ruling, rescinding Haitian immigrants and their descendents from remaining in the country. The results of this ruling are affecting Haitian entrepreneurs.


Haiti has a large, informal small business sector. Merchants sell items purchased on the black market, sent from the U.S. by relatives, or donated by charities. Biweekly, Haitian merchants cross from Ouanaminthe over to Dajabón province in the DR to vend merchandise at the cross-border market.

Reports picked up by local media say tensions between Ouanaminthe and Dajabón merchants have led to a few skirmishes at the cross-border market. DR Border Security and the military have also detained Haitians, whose profiles have revealed questionable activities. But at the last Monday and Friday market days, it was reported no problems occurred with the border crossing over the Massacre River. These incident-free events have been ascribed to a strong military presence.

The cross-border market has been in existence since 2010. The European Union funded a project to build a bridge from Ouanaminthe to Dajabón and construct a farmer's market. The Massacre River, named after the Parsley Massacre of 1937, was the site of the massacre of 30,000 Haitians, ordered by President Trujillo. The recent conflagration surrounding the high court ruling has re-opened old wounds, resurrecting long-buried hostilities between the two nations. The international community has reacted vehemently to the DR's immigrant policy, while the Martelly-Lamothe government has kept mum on the controversy.

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Read more: Dominican Republic, Market, Ouanaminthe, Dajabon, Dominican Border, Haiti-Dominican Border, border Control, Border patrol, International

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