MONTECRISTI, Dominican Republic.– Despite the complaints from the organized community of Manzanillo, the insecurity situation has worsened in the last six weeks due to the increase in robberies perpetrated by members of dangerous Haitian gangs supported by Dominican criminals.
This daily practice has generated an atmosphere of hysteria, restlessness, and concern among citizens, who feel helpless in the face of the lack of cross-border security that allows criminals to enter and leave with complete impunity.
In the Manzanillo Police detachment, there are only three agents. In addition, the situation is aggravated by the need for more personnel from the National Army and the Dominican Navy to protect cross-border security. According to the general opinion in the community of Manzanillo, its main objective is the collection of tolls from the so-called Cuartel Massacre to the mouth of the river in Manzanillo.
They say that a guard at the Massacre Headquarters can get up to 60,000 pesos in tolls, and the situation is similar for military personnel assigned to the mouth of the river.
For connoisseurs and those familiar with the modus operandi of these criminal groups, what is happening is that many gangs from Port-au-Prince are moving their actions to the north of Haiti.
These connoisseurs ensure that by locating in towns near Manzanillo, they settle in peripheral neighborhoods, hence the excessive growth of robberies in Manzanillo.
Six months ago, the Federation of Neighborhood Associations of the Pepillo Salcedo Municipality denounced the overwhelming growth of a community of Haitian residents living in illegal conditions, some of whom have been criticized as members of dangerous gangs in Haiti.
They also denounced that Haitians loitered houses in the sector and that they did so in a hooded manner. They also accused prostitution actions that were carried out involving underage girls.
Faced with this situation, meetings were held with the provincial governor of Montecristi, Nelsy Cruz, who promised to call a large gathering with the various authorities responsible for the problem. Unfortunately, these meetings never took place.
Frank Valenzuela, president of the Manzanillo Bay Center for Regional Development (CEBAMDER), assured that the situation in the sector is of such magnitude that the Immigration Directorate arrives in the industry, arrests Haitian citizens in unstable conditions, and takes them to Dajabón, they send them to Haiti, and it is surprising how at night they are already back in the sector.
This situation has caused a substantial increase in recent weeks in thefts, especially of engines, equipment, and cash, occurring before the indifferent gaze of the authorities responsible for security in the municipality, especially in Manzanillo, the main center of criminal actions.
The situation is serious and seriously calls attention to the overflow that may occur if a case of death occurs due to the criminal actions of these members of Haitian gangs. The CEBAMDER Center proposes to initiate a comprehensive plan to attack this major problem, which should begin with installing a Police Supervisor in Manzanillo. In addition, it is necessary to strengthen the cross-border space, forcing the elimination of public tolls.
Faced with such a situation, the Manzanillo community has had to seek answers from the district and has organized volunteers who carry out night surveillance.
Los Trinitarios is a group of volunteers who act throughout the community, ensuring that Manzanillo cannot continue to allow the growth of citizen insecurity that it currently lives. In this sense, they have already caught more than seven Haitians in full criminal action thanks to the night surveillance they carry out.
The situation is serious and seriously calls for concern about the spillover that may occur if a case of death occurs due to the criminal actions of these members of Haitian gangs.
The CEBAMDER Center proposes to initiate a comprehensive plan to attack this major problem, which should begin with installing a Police Supervisor in Manzanillo. In addition, it is necessary to strengthen the cross-border space, forcing the elimination of public tolls.