Violation of The Treaty through the Construction of a Canal on the Masacre River

SANTO DOMINGO.- The conflict between the Dominican Republic and Haiti has escalated due to the construction of an illegal canal on the Masacre River. This canal violates a 94-year-old treaty called the Treaty of Peace, Perpetual Friendship, and Arbitration. The treaty, signed on February 20, 1929, prohibits any alteration of the rivers that flow between the two countries.

Article 10 of the treaty explicitly states that both countries agree not to engage in any activities that could change the flow or sources of these rivers. While the treaty allows for fair use of water for irrigation, agriculture, and industry within their respective territories, it emphasizes that the flow should not be diverted.

The Dominican Republic has made efforts to halt the construction of the canal due to concerns about the treaty violation. However, the involved groups have not ceased their activities.

In response to the ongoing conflict, the Dominican Government has announced several measures:

1. Maintain total closure of the border with Haiti through Dajabón.
2. If the conflict remains unresolved by Thursday, implement a complete closure of the border for land, sea, and air trade.
3. Permanently suspend entry to the Dominican Republic for all those involved in the conflict.
4. Suspend the issuance of visas to Haitian citizens until further notice.
5. Reactivate the Customs Intake on the Dajabón River, specifically at the beginning of the La Vigía canal, to ensure water supply for Dominican producers.
6. Initiate the construction process of the Don Miguel Dam project as a long-term solution. The project’s design commenced last year, and it is estimated to take approximately 30 months to complete, with an approximate cost of 2.7 billion pesos. The bidding process will begin immediately.
7. Request a bilateral meeting on the binational water table to seek a definitive solution.

The situation remains tense as both countries grapple with the issue of the illegal canal’s construction and its potential environmental and diplomatic consequences.

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