Massacre River Bridge is one of the busiest checkpoints that borders with Dajabon, Dominican Republic and Ouanaminthe, Haiti, but it is also the perfect cover for trafficking of young Haitian children into the Dominican Republic. While thousands of sellers and buyers pour into the Dajabon market it takes less than five minutes for smugglers to cross the Haitian border with the young children.
Since the devastation of the earthquake, Haitian and Dominican leaders promised to protect children from smugglers but little has been done. More than 7,300 boys and girls have been smuggled into the Dominican Republic since the earthquake and in 2009 the figure was 950, according to one human rights group. On average, 15 children a day pass illegally on the bridge into the Dominican Republic. When the children reach the other side, they are hid in clandestine shanties in Dajabon where some shanties function as sex motels. Government officials says the Dominican army deploys more than a dozen fixed and mobile check points in an effort to curb the smuggling of illegal immigrants. However, Miami Herald was told by at least 20 undocumented adults and kids that the guards did not stop them when they passed through the gate posts.
Title: Border Guards Profiting from Haitian Child Smuggling
Publication: Miami Herald, October 27, 2010
Author: Gerardo Reyes and Jacqueline Charles
Student: Kendra Coleman, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Heather Kohler Flynn, Sonoma State University