Thousands of Haitian immigrants are remaining on Monday on the bridge separating their country from the Dominican Republic to protest the refusal of authorities to allow them to enter this country because their documents are not in order.
The binational market held on Mondays and Fridays here in Dajabon was cancelled Monday because of the confusion and the tension in the border zone.
Elite army troops with combat rifles, along with police officers and immigration inspectors were deployed by Dominican authorities at the border crossing point.
The officers returned to Haitian territory several dozen immigrants who were trying to enter the Dominican Republic illegally at spots near the border post.
Dajabon Mayor Miguel Humberto Tatis said that he had no figures regarding the losses caused by the suspension of commerce between Haitians and Dominicans, but he said that it amounted to millions of dollars.
The Rev. Regino Martinez, coordinator in Dajabon for the NGO Solidaridad Fronteriza, requested in December that authorities provide permits for the 2,030 immigrants who work in the northwestern Dominican Republic to enter Dominican territory without any problems.
Immigration officials said that authorization was granted and a list of the workers was prepared, but so far only four people appearing on the list have presented themselves to enter the Dominican Republic. Meanwhile, the other Haitians who are trying to enter the neighboring country do not have the proper documents and are not included in the agreement achieved by the priest.