Dajabon/Quanaminthe Market Day

Tom F.

Bronze
Jan 1, 2002
619
23
38
I happened to be in Dajabon this last Friday and woke up early [4:30], went for an hour run and was almost attacked by a dog. Anyway, up returning to the border area I spent the next hour and a half watching probably 1000 Haitians walking through the river to get to the Dominican side before the gates open at multiple locations. The Dominican miliary, plain clothes who knows who, and even a few Haitians were working with them. A sort of toll has been set up to extract money from those crossing. On occassion, rocks were thrown at some, sticks were used in very threatening way and sometime actually used on a Haitian and I even saw a Dominican in uniform put a rifle in the chest of a Haitian and take him behind some trees.

The new road over the river is supposed to be closed but you see people using it even later in the day. When I walked over there they got a little nervous with the gringo around and when I went back to the other locations, some uniform guys with clip boards showed up and I heard Americano a few times and decided it was time for me to leave.

This has been going on since I was in the Peace Corps in the late 80's and probably long before. It is a sad sight to witness. Maybe the UN troops shoud show up early one day and move around a little bit from the bridge.

Just wondered what might happen if you could get a video camera out there with night capabilities and document this. Everyone knows it is going on but noone seems to care enough or have the cojones to do anything about it.


Oh well, life in the DR.
 

Tom F.

Bronze
Jan 1, 2002
619
23
38
The part that upset me was the fact that the dignity and personal saftey of Haitians is compromised due to they are trying to get over to Dajabon early to get back and sell their goods on the Quanaminthe side. The Dominican military has long known to run a mafia style operation on the frontier and extract quite of bit of money along the way from the most vulnerable.

Maybe have 24/7 capacity to cross and have the UN observers then doing shifts. It is open from 9-5 now. We all know it will not change but if you ever have the opportunity to observe this and you have any sort of heart, it hurts.
 

PICHARDO

One Dominican at a time, please!
May 15, 2003
12,795
567
113
Santiago de Los 30 Caballeros
The part that upset me was the fact that the dignity and personal saftey of Haitians is compromised due to they are trying to get over to Dajabon early to get back and sell their goods on the Quanaminthe side. The Dominican military has long known to run a mafia style operation on the frontier and extract quite of bit of money along the way from the most vulnerable.

Maybe have 24/7 capacity to cross and have the UN observers then doing shifts. It is open from 9-5 now. We all know it will not change but if you ever have the opportunity to observe this and you have any sort of heart, it hurts.


That's a good idea! Let's not stop there and create a "demilitarized" UN controlled buffer zone, turning all the border provinces of the DR into non-DR owned lands!!!

Abuse of power is found everywhere in the world. Most in places where there's a great imbalance of cultures/economic conditions/education/opportunity, etc...

I tell you what, since you're so interested on improving the dignity and personal safety of Haitians crossing into the DR, why not visit the US/MEXICO border and get some pointers on humane/dignified ways to conduct such border operations? Then you can make a list of all the good things you observed there and propose them to DR and UN authorities alike!!

I can get you some good observations from that border line now!!


<object width="650" height="382"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/CGTEEe7Z0Og&hl=en_US&fs=1?rel=0&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6&border=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/CGTEEe7Z0Og&hl=en_US&fs=1?rel=0&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="650" height="382"></embed></object>



<object width="650" height="382"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/oa2LjgL40KE&hl=en_US&fs=1?rel=0&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6&border=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/oa2LjgL40KE&hl=en_US&fs=1?rel=0&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="650" height="382"></embed></object>

And these "tips" are the ones in tape, the ones where only the victims are the witness as countless...
 

J D Sauser

Silver
Nov 20, 2004
2,929
357
83
www.hispanosuizainvest.com
The part that upset me was the fact that the dignity and personal saftey of Haitians is compromised due to they are trying to get over to Dajabon early to get back and sell their goods on the Quanaminthe side. The Dominican military has long known to run a mafia style operation on the frontier and extract quite of bit of money along the way from the most vulnerable.

Maybe have 24/7 capacity to cross and have the UN observers then doing shifts. It is open from 9-5 now. We all know it will not change but if you ever have the opportunity to observe this and you have any sort of heart, it hurts.


Tom, I understand and I am not trying to be "funny" or cynical when I say I understand your frustration.
BUT, they keep on coming, now don't they? (which I am not implying would justify the mistreatment).

Yet again; BUT, what do you think it would look like here, if it was any easier (to come in)? As an appetizer, read these recent threads: Sosua Street Kids ...Trouble In Progress!, Haitian street child murdered in Sosua !

So what's YOUR proposal/solution? Should the UN patrol the border, make it air tight and NOT let ANYBODY who does not have a valid visa thru? (bye bye Dajabon market!).
I hope I can trust your argument is not, that the DR could just let all these poor and well meaning ambulant market people in on "good faith"... that they would recognize the privilege and return the favor with returning to their home country diligently every day once the market closes? I mean at least not as long as too many in Haiti don't seem able to resist the urge to chop down most any tree to convert it into char coal.

Frankly, I think they should setup the Dajabon market on the Haitian side of the border. Secure that village, maybe treat it like a toll free enclave/exclave.
Give (sell) Dominican buyers a day pass and free shopping good import allowances (Dominican "authorities" then can try to bully their own). That may/may not dissolve the "mafia", but keep that income IN Haiti, and allow for cheap products to dribble into the DR. Maybe that village (I forgot the name) on the other side of the border would also start to develop and look a little more like Dajabon(?)... and if it doesn't, then the Dominicans would at least not be to blame anymore (some may still blame the UN, the Imperialsts, capitalism, the French, the white or the black, anybody... but the Haitians). Maybe because, what could happen under "my" proposed "plan" could be that the villagers would start to run a similar repressive/abusive "mafia" operation against their fellow Haitian countrymen coming to town to sell their merchandise...
Begs the question, which "mafia" do you (having seen what you may have seen in Haiti) would most likely turn out to be the more inhumane one?


Let me be clear about something: Most every Haitian who comes and settles in the DR illegally, has been sneaked in with the "help" (corrupted, abusive "help") of a Dominicans (police, army, border "control") BUT ALSO Haitians already here and Haitians on the other side too. Everybody is "in" on it... everybody but you and me, luckily.


... J-D.
 

ElRubio

New member
Jul 9, 2010
29
2
0
i wonder what the dominicans in dajabon think about the illegal haitians who make up the majority of their province? they need to push them out before we lose more land to haiti
 

mountainannie

Platinum
Dec 11, 2003
14,991
439
83
elizabetheames.blogspot.com
The problem with the border markets and crossings is indeed that the "binational" markets in Pedernales and Dajabon and Comendador are all on the Dominican side of the border.

There was an effort on the part of PADF (Pan American Development Foundation, the NGO for the OAS) which operated a project on the border for 5 years - to help get the market that was being constructed in Dajabon into an area that would have been "extraterristrial" - in that there would be customs on both the Haitian and DR sides. But the DR is much better organized and so got all the plans and papers into the EU, which is financingthe new market construction on the DR side..... since this brings in more money for the Dominicans.

Same thing happened in Pedernales where foreign funding built an enclosed concrete market on the DR side. At one point, the DR tried to enforce the law against the importing of American rice (which goes into Haiti under a much reduced tariff). The Haitians struck and would not cross for the market -and built a "shadow" market on the other side - a wooden scarecrow with tarps. The strike only lasted for a couple of weeks since Pedernales is dependent on the vegetables and fruit that comes in from Haiti (not to mention the money - the coffee, the rice ... the bribes - one report was that the head of customs there in Pedernales built a brand new house with a front door that cost $30,000 pesos after only one year in place).....The guards on the DR side lifted the ban on the rice, which was the main Haitian export and all went back as before - except that there is now a big locked door across the river bridge as opposed to just the chain which was there formerly,

I have spoken recently to Haitians in LT who have come in (flooded in) since the earthquake. One of them told me that it is very simple now to get into the DR - if you have a Haitian passport, all you need to do is to cross in on market day and pay the guagua driver $3000 pesos -- from which he pays off the guards at the various points until Santiago. After Santiago there are no check points.

Sadly - this is a bit like the drug trade -- there is just too much money involved to stop it.

Even though the DR put an entirely new border patrol into operation a few years ago (CESFRONT), with the thought that if they were given higher wages (starting at $10,000 pesos a month plus all expenses paid) and specialized training, they would be above corruption.

You are right that the solution is to move the markets to the Haitian side of the border - or rather to a no man's land between the two countries as is the case in Jimani. But Jimani is the dullest of all the cross border markets-- why is that? ok, maybe because of the flooding and because the Haitian side there does not produce much -- but also it is the most heavily guarded crossing on both sides....

Haitians who wish to cross into the DR use one of the other three... or just walk across the invisible line somewhere along the 235 miles.
 

mountainannie

Platinum
Dec 11, 2003
14,991
439
83
elizabetheames.blogspot.com
i wonder what the dominicans in dajabon think about the illegal haitians who make up the majority of their province? they need to push them out before we lose more land to haiti

I have not observed that Haitians make up the majority of Dajabon or Monte Cristi or any of the border regions. The Haitians who come in from there go to Santiago or Santo Domingo or the tourist areas to find work.

The border areas are the poorest regions in the DR - with an estamated 64% of the people living in poverty as opposed to 41% nationally = and extreme poverty of 23% as opposed to 8% nationally....this from the newly published book "La frontera dominico-haitiana" by ciudades y fronteras published by the BID (Banco Interamericano de Desarollo)-- (printed by Editora Manatie, Calle 37, no40, Cristo Rey, Santo Domingo tel 809 565 3280)
 

bob saunders

Platinum
Jan 1, 2002
28,572
2,154
113
dr1.com
I have not observed that Haitians make up the majority of Dajabon or Monte Cristi or any of the border regions. The Haitians who come in from there go to Santiago or Santo Domingo or the tourist areas to find work.

How would you know without going door to door, campo cruising....etc.
 

ElRubio

New member
Jul 9, 2010
29
2
0
I have spent weeks at a time in these border towns. You can certainly find the Haitian sections and barrios - particularly in Pedernales and even Comendador - but the Haitians are simply not the majority of the population as the poster suggested.

my friend has family in dajabon and he says his campo has almost just as many dominicans as haitians but his town is like 20 to 30 minute walk from the border. don't confused assimilated haitians for dominicans most native dajabonenses don't look like haitians. by the way some are afraid that provinces like perdernales will be lost to the haitians just like the central plateau
 

Tom F.

Bronze
Jan 1, 2002
619
23
38
Tom, I understand and I am not trying to be "funny" or cynical when I say I understand your frustration.
BUT, they keep on coming, now don't they? (which I am not implying would justify the mistreatment).

Yet again; BUT, what do you think it would look like here, if it was any easier (to come in)? As an appetizer, read these recent threads: Sosua Street Kids ...Trouble In Progress!, Haitian street child murdered in Sosua !

So what's YOUR proposal/solution? Should the UN patrol the border, make it air tight and NOT let ANYBODY who does not have a valid visa thru? (bye bye Dajabon market!).
I hope I can trust your argument is not, that the DR could just let all these poor and well meaning ambulant market people in on "good faith"... that they would recognize the privilege and return the favor with returning to their home country diligently every day once the market closes? I mean at least not as long as too many in Haiti don't seem able to resist the urge to chop down most any tree to convert it into char coal.

Frankly, I think they should setup the Dajabon market on the Haitian side of the border. Secure that village, maybe treat it like a toll free enclave/exclave.
Give (sell) Dominican buyers a day pass and free shopping good import allowances (Dominican "authorities" then can try to bully their own). That may/may not dissolve the "mafia", but keep that income IN Haiti, and allow for cheap products to dribble into the DR. Maybe that village (I forgot the name) on the other side of the border would also start to develop and look a little more like Dajabon(?)... and if it doesn't, then the Dominicans would at least not be to blame anymore (some may still blame the UN, the Imperialsts, capitalism, the French, the white or the black, anybody... but the Haitians). Maybe because, what could happen under "my" proposed "plan" could be that the villagers would start to run a similar repressive/abusive "mafia" operation against their fellow Haitian countrymen coming to town to sell their merchandise...
Begs the question, which "mafia" do you (having seen what you may have seen in Haiti) would most likely turn out to be the more inhumane one?


Let me be clear about something: Most every Haitian who comes and settles in the DR illegally, has been sneaked in with the "help" (corrupted, abusive "help") of a Dominicans (police, army, border "control") BUT ALSO Haitians already here and Haitians on the other side too. Everybody is "in" on it... everybody but you and me, luckily.


... J-D.

Your ideas are sound. The border opens at nine on Fridays and than Haitians are free to come without any papers being checked, just the occassional bag they are carrying. I will be back next week and will try to figure this thing out a little more. I was told the reason the Haitians go at 5am to get the goods and get back to Quanaminthe and get set up to sell what they bought on the Dominican side. Seems like somethins is missing here. There are markets on both sides, just Haitians buying and both Dominicans and Haitians selling.

There is a Haitian customs and you occasionally get stopped and they charge a dollar. I saw a group of church people coming over after spending a week there and one reason they stayed on the Haitian side was they were charged US$25 by Haitian immigration when they left the country. Someone in the group told me later in the evening when I saw then at a restraurant in Dajabon, they didn't stay in Dajabon because they couldn't affford to pay that every day. The hotel in Quanaminthe was US$60/night and is usually $80.

We are able to get back and forth without paying this and I hope that continues.
 
E

engineerfg

Guest
To the original poster - or other people that know. I am confused as to how 'semi porous' this river is...where people actually 'sneaking' in and out starting at 5am?

When I crossed last, people were pretty openly crossing and swimming across at the mismo time that I was walking across and doing everything officially. In fact, here's some photos of the swimmers/crossers.









As for the suggestion of video taping the police abusing someone...hmm... I don't think that's a good idea. Plus it won't really change anything, they're not exactly rodney king.
 

Chirimoya

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2002
17,850
974
113
engineer, any chance of resizing those photos? They've distorted the thread and are making it difficult to read.
 

Chirimoya

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2002
17,850
974
113
I try to encourage it in Living at least. The other mods need to do the same in their respective forums.
 

Tom F.

Bronze
Jan 1, 2002
619
23
38
Hopefully I will get a better handle on this next week. When the UN troops are standing within eye sight, yes it's free.
 

pedrochemical

Silver
Aug 22, 2008
3,410
464
0
my friend has family in dajabon and he says his campo has almost just as many dominicans as haitians but his town is like 20 to 30 minute walk from the border. don't confused assimilated haitians for dominicans most native dajabonenses don't look like haitians. by the way some are afraid that provinces like perdernales will be lost to the haitians just like the central plateau


Did the Central Plateau used to be Dominican?
I never knew that.

Oh er, which Central Plateau are you on about???
 
P

poponlaburra

Guest
I happened to be in Dajabon this last Friday and woke up early [4:30], went for an hour run and was almost attacked by a dog. Anyway, up returning to the border area I spent the next hour and a half watching probably 1000 Haitians walking through the river to get to the Dominican side before the gates open at multiple locations. The Dominican miliary, plain clothes who knows who, and even a few Haitians were working with them. A sort of toll has been set up to extract money from those crossing. On occassion, rocks were thrown at some, sticks were used in very threatening way and sometime actually used on a Haitian and I even saw a Dominican in uniform put a rifle in the chest of a Haitian and take him behind some trees.

The new road over the river is supposed to be closed but you see people using it even later in the day. When I walked over there they got a little nervous with the gringo around and when I went back to the other locations, some uniform guys with clip boards showed up and I heard Americano a few times and decided it was time for me to leave.

This has been going on since I was in the Peace Corps in the late 80's and probably long before. It is a sad sight to witness. Maybe the UN troops shoud show up early one day and move around a little bit from the bridge.

Just wondered what might happen if you could get a video camera out there with night capabilities and document this. Everyone knows it is going on but noone seems to care enough or have the cojones to do anything about it.


Oh well, life in the DR.

That is right! DOMINICAN MEN do not have the cojones to do anything about OUR PROBLEM, perhaps they will sometime!?