Local January 25, 2013 | 3:17 pm

Priest denies plan to build Haitian village on Dominican side of border

Dajabón, Dominican Republic.- The coordinator of the NGO Border Solidarity on Friday denied plans to build 600 houses in the village Ranchadero, Guayubín, near the Dominican-Haiti border, affirming that only 12 rooms would be built on the site.

The priest Regino Martinez, coordinator of the social-religious organization, said Spanish and Belgian families donated the funds to help some of the migrants who work in banana plantations in the area.

Quoted by Radio Marien, the prelate said Guayubín’s Mayor and Planning Office approved the documents to build the 3-story block houses. “I haven’t taken anyone to live in the area except Haitian migrant workers most of them living there for more than 10 years in shacks and rooms rented from Dominicans, in inhumane conditions.”

He said Border Solidarity is only complying with agreements and requirements set by the donors for any nonprofit work.

Martinez said several years ago the Spanish priest Ramiro Pampols observed the poor living conditions of many of the area’s families, when after an October, 2008 murder of a farmer there, uncontrolled mobs torched their homes. “When he returned to Spain he spoke about this reality, prompting some of the people from organizations present to contribute to fix up their homes.”

“In this first effort more than seven houses were rebuilt in Juan Gomez, which served as a model and today what they want is to build 12 rooms, and not 600 as stated by Ranchadero residents and some media and journalists both locally and nationally,” Martinez said.

As an example of how Border Solidarity manages donors’ funds, the priest said he spearheaded the construction of the Dajabón barrio Los Cartones, for Dominican families.

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