Hundreds of Dominicans marched on from Corpus Christi through the streets of the Dajabón municipality, demanding that the government not allow the construction of an irrigation canal in Haiti, diverting a route from the Dajabón River to the neighboring country.
The protesters arrived in buses and private vehicles shouting slogans with the Dominican flag in their hands. “Haiti is Haiti and the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Republic”, were some of the slogans that the protesters preached.
The Juan Pablo Duarte Park, in front of the municipal council, was cordoned off by mixed troops from the Army and the National Police.
The protesters then went to the headquarters of the Haitian consulate in Dajabón and lay down.
However, soldiers and police surrounded the area to prevent incidents.
Starting at 6:00 AM, the area was militarized, but even so the demonstration was staggered.
Agricultural and livestock producers, led by their president Ramón Pichardo, say that the diversion of the Dajabón River is a threat to the subsistence of the inhabitants of Dajabón, Montecristi and other border towns.
The protesters’ spokesman, Mani Solano, proclaimed that Haiti is wrong if it thinks it would get away with lifting that water infrastructure.
In addition, he estimated that the Haitian authorities are violating the Treaty of Peace, Perpetual Friendship and Arbitration, signed between the two nations in 1929 and that one of its sections establishes that it is forbidden to divert the water sources of both countries.
Protestants, ranchers, producers, legislators and individuals present, warned that the Dominican border communities are at risk, if the Dominican Government accepts the construction of this work.
They noted that agricultural activities would disappear and that water consumption for the border population would decrease drastically.
The protesters launched harsh criticism against the mayor of Dajabón, Santiago Riveron, who accused them of being traitors and that they were a small group of nationalists, not natives of this province.
Solano clarified that Riverón needs to be ashamed to see the crowd that gathered in Dajabón and at the same time, clarified that no Dominican is a foreigner in his homeland.