Posted by Linstindiaro on Thursday, January 11, 2018 Under: Haiti/Dominican relations
Haitians who cross the border clandestinely are cutting down trees to burn charcoal in mountainous areas on the border between the two countries, a situation deplored by environmentalists, while authorities say they are facing the problem.
The charcoal is taken to Haiti, since that fuel is used on a large scale by poor and lower middle class families to prepare their food.
In this regard, the director of the Specialized Terrestrial Border Security Body (Cesfront), General Sugar Frugis Martinez, told Listin Diario that in the last months of 2017, the military posted on the border confiscated 18,000 sacks of charcoal that would be transported to Haiti.
He also said that they seized 1,300 gallons of clerén, 168,318 pounds of garlic, 3,275 pounds of marijuana, 4 million 351 units of cigarettes from different brands from Haiti.
Frugis Martinez reported that the Cesfront, the Dominican Navy and other agencies responsible for border surveillance, are active 24 hours, not only to contain the trafficking of people, but other evils that affect the area.
The environmentalist Roberto Silverio, of the Northwest Ecologist Block, said that what happens in that area and the border is serious with the cutting of trees for the burning of coal.
He argued that in the mountainous area of Restoration, Manuel Bueno, Loma de Cabrera, Tirolí, Manzanillo, Santiago Rodriguez and other places in the Northwest, Haitians in complicity with Dominicans are dedicated to knock down trees to burn for charcoal and take it to their country.
He also explained that he has witnessed that in Juana Méndez, Fort Liberté, Trou Du Nord, Millot, Lemonade, Cap Haitien and other towns in the North, Northwest and Northeast of Haiti, many Haitians sell coal in the streets without controls and that Used fuel for cooking is transferred from the Dominican Republic. He said that since there are no forests in Haiti because the hills are bare, Haitians cross to mountainous communities of the Dominican border to knock down trees and burn coal.
While the Haitian environmentalist Paul Antoine reported that in rural areas and in most of the towns in his country, most of the poor and lower middle class cook with charcoal and firewood.
He regretted the little forest capacity that his country has, because the authorities have not established measures to stop this situation.
Antoine said environmentalists have planted fast-growing trees in certain strategic areas of communities along Haiti's border, but that they are cut down by coal merchants and firewood vendors.
He also said that since many people live in Haiti from the sale of charcoal and firewood, when they do not find the material to burn in their country, they cross communities of the Dominican border to prey on and continue with their business.
In a tour through the border it was found that Haitians constantly mock the military stationed in the area, since most of those arrested on entering the country irregularly manage to enter again, even some have been arrested up to seven Sometimes trying to penetrate the national territory.