Haiti out of control: rich seek visas to come to Dominican Republic

While the political forces fight for the control of power in Haiti, the gangs take hold and force the exit of rich and poor sectors.

George Bazin said it no longer makes sense to live in Haiti because there is “no security for anyone.”

Santiago, DR

The terror being imposed by the gang groups that control neighborhoods and streets of Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitian, and other cities of Haiti, the generalized insecurity, unemployment, business bankruptcy, lack of food, fuel, and other evils, is driving many Haitians of upper and middle class to seek visas in the Dominican consulates in Haiti, to settle here.

A Dominican diplomatic source in Cap Haitien has confirmed that in the consular legations operating in Haiti, there has been an increased flow of people from all social strata who want to obtain their visas to enter Dominican territory.

Such is the case of George Bazin, a man who closed his business, together with his wife and two minor children, left his home and, after obtaining Dominican visas in Port-au-Prince, decided to enter Dominican territory.

“They gave it to us for six months and we have been here for two and a half months now; we like this country very much and we don’t want to go back,” he added.

He said that he and his wife ran a chocolate factory in Delma but were victims of a gang who, although they did not kidnap them, looted their business.

People are scared.
“Why live in Haiti, if there is no security for anyone or anything, and these kidnappings have people scared,” he complained.

Bazin is now looking for a place in Santiago to set up his medium-sized chocolate industry with a partner of the exact origin.

His case is not isolated. Dianny Bisoneaux declared to Listin Diario that she graduated in nursing two years ago at the Technological University of Santiago (UTESA). After graduation, she returned to Cap Haitien, her village, where she worked in the public hospital.

However, she said that her mother, who had a candy and handicrafts factory, was almost kidnapped and that her mother, together with her and two other sisters, decided to emigrate to Santiago.

The professional said that she is now unemployed in this country because her visa has expired. Still, she says that, at least, she helps her mother in a small candy factory that she has in the Bella Vista sector, southwest of Santiago.

No intention of returning
“We want to regulate our migratory status in the country; we do not want problems with the authorities and we are not in the mood to return to Haiti, at least until the situation does not improve,” he emphasized.

For his part, Jenfrey Dubreiul of the Committee for Defense and Civil Protection of Northeast Haiti added that what is happening in his homeland is “regrettable.”

At the mercy of gang members
“They kidnap you even to take a bicycle; vehicles are taken from people by force and then they have to buy them at the price the gang members say,” he lamented.

In this context, he added that these gangs finance themselves through kidnapping, assaults, looting of commercial establishments, drug sales, scams, blackmail, and other crimes.

Dubreiul, who is visiting the Dominican Republic, said that he is returning to his hometown of Cap Haitien because he is not afraid of threats and will continue to denounce what is happening in Haiti, regardless of the risk to his life.

“Haiti is unlivable right now, more will continue to arrive in this country, be prepared, that will be the case,” the activist observed.

There are 76 gangs.
According to figures provided by the National Commission for Disarmament, Dismantlement, and Reintegration, more than 76 gangs in Haiti.

Currently, 500,000 illegal weapons are circulating in that country. These armed groups are terrorizing residents in different parts of the country. In addition, they worry those who have long settled on this side of the island searching for better living conditions, education, and the economy.