“SANTO DOMINGO.- The standoff Haitian and Dominican truckers staged in the border towns of Jimani and Malpasse has ended after high-level talks including the presence of Santo Domingo’s ambassador in Port-au-Prince, Ruben Silie Gaton, a Dominican Today source said Friday afternoon.
The ambassadors from Haiti, Fritz Cineas, and Dominican Republic Rubén Silié in a a joint press conference in the Foreign Relations Ministry today, lamented the violent deaths in the Herrera sector, and stressed that the situation wouldn’t jeopardize bilateral relations.
DT reporters went to the market district Little Haiti, in Santo Domingo’s downtown, where Haitian truckers and vendors said they were surprised at the latest spate of violence between Dominicans and nationals from their country, and some were wary of talking to the press or allowing their picture to be taken.
Ada, a woman of about 40 who didn’t want to say her last name said Dominicans treat her well, but complained that the Dominican authorities at the border crossings, “always steal from us.”
Talking in broken Spanish while sorting her wares of mostly garments from the “pacas” (bails of clothing), the Haitian citizen also railed the Dominican Police because they allegedly abuse her compatriots by “shaking us down” for money. “As soon as I sell what I have left I’m going back home (Haiti).”
Meanwhile, the vendor and retired Dominican policeman, Juan de Jesus Heredia, 65, said he’s been working with and around Haitians for 30 years, and affirms that he gets along well with them, calling the recent violence, things that always happen.”
He said in his time in Little Haiti Dominicans and Haitians have gotten along despite the “problems” between the governments. “Things happen but just fistfights and stuff, but we should help the Haitians because they just want to come here and get what they need.”