The Dominican government has begun building a wall that would cover almost half of the 244 miles border with Haiti, its only land neighbor, to stop irregular migration and the smuggling of goods, weapons, and drugs.
“The benefit for both nations will be of great importance,” Dominican President Luis Abinader said before pushing the button to begin pouring concrete into the foundations of what will be the wall in the province of Dajabon, some 143 miles northwest of the capital.
Abinader said he hoped the border wall would reduce the smuggling of commercial goods and weapons, and help fight organized crime in both nations.
The 20-centimeter-thick concrete wall topped by a metal mesh will be 3.9 meters high and have fiber optics for communications, movement sensors, cameras, radars, and drones.
The project also included the construction of 70 watchtowers and 41 access gates for patrolling.
Many Haitians cross the border in search of work in the fields, or the construction industry in the Dominican Republic.
According to the 2018 immigration survey, about 500,000 Haitians and tens of thousands of their descendants live in the Dominican Republic, a Spanish-speaking nation of about 11 million people.
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