Haiti Customs bars tons of products as Haitian merchants fume
Dajabón, Dominican Republic.- Haiti Customs officials on Monday barred dozens of tons of farm products from entering their country, bought by Haitian merchants in the bi-national market held Mondays and Fridays and only allowed their merchants to cross into Dominican Republic to sell their goods.
Around a dozen Haitian merchants had stocked up on various products including vegetables and canned foods only to have them seized at the border by Haitian authorities, to the dismay of many Haitian who said they didn’t know why their country banned the products.
Among the products allowed to pass into Haiti figure flour, coconuts and detergent.
“This decision by our government is affecting us greatly, because we don’t want to risk buying goods, because they are taken away when we cross the bridge over the Masacre river,” said a Haitian merchant quoted by hoy.com.do.
Some Haitians say they’ve managed to move their products after “paying a toll” to their countrymen, while others who try to cross the river also risk having their purchases confiscated.
June 30, 2015
Haitians destroy Dominican goods purchased by vendors
The Haitian authorities have reopened the border in the north, allowing thousands of Haitians to cross over to the bi-national market in Dajabon. However, Listin Diario reported that once the Haitian shoppers and merchants returned to Haitian territory, Haitian officials confiscated their goods purchased in the Dominican Republic, loaded the products onto garbage trucks and dumped them in the Ouanaminthe garbage dump.
The affected Haitians vigorously protested, calling the action of the Haitian authorities cruel and completely uncalled for, pointing out that they had borrowed money to buy the goods that were to be resold in Haiti.
Haitian police, assisted by unknown civilian instigators broke up the protests using sticks against the Haitian merchants and consumers. People were seen at the dump in Ouanaminthe trying to locate some of the products that had been unceremoniously discarded.
The Haitian authorities said their position is clear: Haitians can go to the market to sell their products but they are not allowed to purchase a wide range of Dominican goods that will be brought into Haiti. The products targeted to be banned by the Haitian government program include plantains, bananas, carrots, chayote, salamis and sausages, chicken and eggs, pasta, tomato sauces, oils, toilet paper and plastic goods.
Market days are held on Mondays and Fridays in Dajabon, when the Dominican authorities allow Haitians to freely enter the country to buy and sell food and other merchandise.
Merchants in Dajabon, who stand to lose business because of the actions of the Haitian government officials were not pleased. But many of these merchants concluded that the low-income people living in Haiti who can no longer count on the goods available at the bi-national market will be most affected.
One Haitian told Hoy reporter that some Haitians had been able to get their merchandise into Haiti after paying “a toll” to unnamed individuals. Others who attempted to cross the Masacre River back into Haiti from Dajabon were met by Haitian officials who promptly confiscated their goods.
Source: DR1, Hoy
Category: DR News |