Economy December 12, 2023 | 9:28 am

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Dajabón border market reopens amidst limited attendance

Dajabon.- The Dajabón border market, a significant trading hub between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, has recommenced operations with noticeably reduced activity. With less than 100 clients and the absence of 95% of Dominican merchants, the market’s reopening comes after the decision to reactivate trade despite the ongoing closure of the border on the Haitian side.

The low turnout of Dajabón merchants is primarily because their clientele consists almost exclusively of Haitians, who currently cannot cross the border to make purchases. This has led to a wait-and-see approach, with merchants hoping for the reopening of the border by Juana Méndez authorities.

Santiago Riverón, the municipal mayor, urged both Haitian and Dominican merchants to participate in the market activities, especially with the approaching Christmas season, to sell their products.

Merchant José Reyes emphasized the need for vendors to consolidate efforts and move away from informal markets. He believes that if Dominican vendors were to open their stores at the market, Haitians would be encouraged to attend, considering their need for the products. The fair, however, continues to experience minimal activity without Haitian buyers and sellers, who are the primary trading partners.

The border situation is complicated by the closure from the Haitian side, a response to the Dominican government’s restrictions linked to the illegal diversion of water from the Masacre River by civilians. Meanwhile, the Dominican Army has intensified surveillance in the Sierra de Babonuco area, a known route for Haitian migration, and along the border to prevent undocumented crossings.

The Specialized Land Border Security Corps (Cesfront) is also maintaining strict controls in the market area to regulate the movement of undocumented immigrants into the Dominican side. These measures follow recent incidents where groups of Haitians attempted to cross the border through the Sierra de Bahoruco and were intercepted by military forces.

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