The General Directorate of Migration and State Security agencies placed an immigration alert regarding passengers entering the Dominican Republic from El Salvador with “a certain suspicious profile” of belonging to the Mara Salvatrucha criminal gangs of that country.
According to a source, passengers from the aforementioned country are carefully checked by immigration personnel and representatives of state intelligence and security agencies at the country’s airports.
In addition, Salvadorans are subjected to intense interrogation by Migration personnel, with specific questions about their stay in the Dominican Republic, the money they bring as economic solvency, place of accommodation, round-trip tickets, and the time they will remain in the national territory.
While, migration and security personnel also look for any sign of tattoos on the body of travelers, which could give them away and identify them as members of criminal organizations that operate in that Central American country.
The Government of El Salvador began raids a few months ago in its fight against the gangs, seeking to “extract” all the members of the teams that, for years, have extorted businesses and dominated many neighborhoods of the capital.
The Dominican authorities fear that criminal members of these gangs, the maras, may enter the country, establish themselves, and encourage illegal actions that further disturb people’s peace.
Currently, the airlines Arajet and Copa Airlines carry out daily flight operations from El Salvador through the Las Américas-José Francisco Peña Gómez International Airport.
To enter the Dominican Republic, Salvadorans do not need a visa under agreements established between the government of that country and the Dominican Republic.
According to Law No. 875 on Visas, foreigners traveling to the Dominican Republic must own a visa in their travel document issued at one of the country’s consulates abroad.
However, it is noted that, except for nationals of countries with which the Dominican Republic has signed visa waiver agreements and citizens of countries authorized to travel to the country with a tourist card, provided that the reason for their visit is for tourist purposes.
In that order, it was explained that many of the passengers from El Salvador who entered through the national airports during this year as tourists have settled in tourist areas of the Dominican Republic irregularly after their permit to stay in the territory expired national.
MOVEMENT OF SALVADORAN PASSENGERS
The Dominican airline Arajet reported that during this year, 2023, it has transported to the Dominican Republic from El Salvador, 25,665 passengers from January to June 2023.