Haiti – DR : 69 Haitians arrested for cutting trees in Los Haitises National Park
Over the past weekend, 69 Haitian illegal immigrants have been arrested by members of the National Environmental Protection Service (SENPA) for cutting trees in Los Haitises National Park, the largest Dominican protected area, to illegally produce coal for the Haitian market.
The arrest took place on denunciation during an operation led by Colonel Omar Gitte Mejía, Director General of the National Service for Environmental Protection. He said that the authorities had dismantled 12 coal kilns for the production of coal and seized 108 bags of coal close to be shipped to Haiti
SENPA also said that 90 other Haitians had been jailed in the last two months for violating the Environment and Natural Resources Law 64-00.
Gitte Mejía warned that environmental protection operations would continue throughout the country under the orders of the Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Rubén Darío Paulino Sem, and the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Angel Estévez .
According to a study by the Dominican Ministry of the Environment, these environmental destruction operations are managed by groups of Haitian and Dominican businessmen who finance the illicit manufacture of charcoal and who benefit from complicity among those responsible of the border surveillance. This study estimated in 2009 more than 200, the number of clandestine producers of charcoal on the border, mostly of Haitian origin. This study estimated that more than 30,000 bags of coal were produced each month for US $2.5 million ($30 million annually). Generally, producers receive 50%, truckers or carriers by boat 25%, local intermediaries 13% and bribes represent 12% of turnover.
By the end of 2017, the military seized 18,000 bags of illegal wood carbon destined for Haiti. Every month Dominican agents seize smuggled charcoal produced in their forests.
See also :
https://www.haitilibre.com/article-4538-haiti-environnement-surveillance-environnementale-aux-frontieres.html (in french)