Local March 19, 2020 | 11:55 am

Dominican Republic hadn’t closed its border since 1962

J.B Aristide, R. Cedras

Santo Domingo.- The Dominican Republic, which hadn’t closed its border for the past 57 years, has now done so by preventing the transit of people, binational markets and the transport of merchandise between the two nations for 15 days as a preventive measure against the coronavirus pandemic.

On other occasions, regional border closures had been carried out for 24 and 48 hours, due to altercations almost always on the Haitian side. There was also a partial closure in 1991 when the government of President Jean Bertrand Arístide was ousted in a coup by general Raoul Cédras.

Prior to that the border was completely closed in April 1962, when commandos failed in an attempt to kidnap the children of President Jean Claude Duvalier, organized by the opposition leader Francois Benoit, but the “Tonton Macout” (Haiti’s secret police) which responded by killing Benoit’s father, an 18-month-old son and the chief domestic

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