Local June 14, 2013 | 11:47 am

“All hell breaks loose” at Haiti-Dominican border as ban holds

Dajabón, Dominican Republic. – Just hours before the Agriculture Ministry was to announce that Haiti’s ban on chicken and egg imports from Dominican Republic was to be unofficially lifted, merchants said "all hell broke loose" Thursday when brawls at the border town of Dajabon (northwest) ensued from an attempt to smuggle those items into the town of Ouanaminthe.

Several incidents have marred Friday’s bi-national market thus far as Dominicans also try to pass other foodstuff such as salami and sausages, prompting confiscations by Haitian authorities who destroy the merchandise and toss the debris into the Masacre river.

Merchants tell of hearing gunfire to from the Haitian side, but despite the clashes between the merchants and security agents, no injuries or arrests have been reported so far.

The clashes prompted 13 Dajabon merchants associations to announce a boycott of the cross-border market, vowing to paralyze all commercial activities in the area as of 6am Monday .

Quoted by elcaribe.com.do, organization president Freddy Morillo said they are also coordinating with other markets along the 300 mile border to join the shutdown.

Despite the incidents, the merchants and other market vendors buy and sell their wares and products normally.

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