Senators give insights on the border with Haiti; an industrial wall is seen as most practical solution

Five Dominican-Haitian border province senators sat with executives of the Corripio Media Group to give their insights into the border situation and possible solutions.

David Sosa (FP-Dajabón), Ramón Pimentel (PRM-Montecristi), Dionis Sánchez (FP-Pedernales), Iván Lorenzo (PLD-Elías Piña) and Valentín Medrano PLD-Independencia) met with the chief editors of Corripio’s El Dia, Hoy, El Nacional and other media.

The senators called for more investments and clear rules with Haiti. The senators criticized the traditional abandonment the authorities have had to the towns and inhabitants of the border.

Dionis Sanchez called for the construction of a “wall of industries” to eliminate unemployment on both sides of the border. He disputes that the government has sent 12,000 military staff to be stationed at the border.

Iván Lorenzo denounced the large profits being made by Dominican consuls in the neighboring country. He said these are charging US$400 to US$500 to issue visas to Haitians.

Hoy recently reported on the arrest of Haitian citizen Erwing Pierre Louis in possession of 92 passports and US$11,000. At the time, the Haitian was working as cashier at the Dominican consulate in Ouanaminthe, Haiti. Consul general Jose Valenzuela promptly disassociated himself from the employee.

David Sosa, the senator for Dajabón, says there are few opportunities for young people in border provinces.

Valentín Medrano, of Independencia, deplored the lack of infrastructure in the second poorest province of the country.

Meanwhile, the senator of Montecristi, Ramón Pimentel, said that his province has much more advantages than the others that make up the border group. He spoke of adequate road infrastructure and the development of the port of Manzanillo through public-private alliances, and new investments in the construction of more roads and hospitals.

El Dia newspaper, of the Corripio Media Group, expanded on the proposal made by Pedernales senator, Dionis Sanchez for an industrial wall as the dividing line. The idea is to replicate what Codevi has set up in Dajabón in other border provinces.

El Dia explains that Codevi is an interesting experience. It operates under the shadow of the United States’ Hope Act, which lifts barriers so that Haiti and the United States of America can trade freely, without paying customs duties anywhere. It has created 18,000 jobs, of which 16,000 are Haitians, 2,000 are Dominicans. Another 6,000 direct jobs are located in the Dominican Republic through the supply chain.

“Seen in this light, the idea of building an industrial wall that would allow Haitians to work in a company located on the border and live in their country is not far-fetched,” observes the editorial writer. It makes the point that this would undoubtedly generate an important transformation in the communities of eastern Haiti. The experience is there for all to see. Ouanaminthe, the Haitian town next to Dajabón, has benefited significantly.”

El Dia concludes: “In this way, the request to the great nations of the West to intervene in Haitian life takes on a constructive, not military, form.”

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El Dia
El Dia

3 December 2021