The pepe scene unfolded today as women explained how Dominican guards at Zona Franca sit on the paperwork for a container of product that they have already paid for, making them wait two or three months for delivery. Meanwhile, the buyer has resold the goods to the ti machann of Jacmel in order to make up her cost, but has no product to deliver. The intended result is that most buyers are forced into bribing the guard to speed up the delivery, to the tune of 1,000 pesos.
Women also talked about the poor quality of the goods they receive when Zona Franca employees take the best clothes to sell in Santo Domingo. According to a Dominican ministry of tourism official, the government provides the infrastructure for the Zona Francas but forbids them from selling pepe in the DR so as not to undercut other textiles. Apparently the rule is ignored in Pedernales.
The Ansapit ti machann say a good delivery of pepe usually yields 90 sacks of salable pepe, but they’re getting yields of 40 to 50 sacks from Pedernales.
Costs of Doing Business For Jacmel Ti Machann
- $8,000 Haitian dollars (45,000 gourdes) for a delivery of mixed pepe (Dominican tax included in price)
- 15 gourds per sack or 25 gourds for two sacks to transport pepe to the boat for Marigot
- 250 gourdes per person for a space on the boat (if the boat is full, the vendor must wait for another; many come to Ansapit with family members)
- 50 gourdes per sack for boat transport to Marigot
- 25 gourdes per sack for car transport from Marigot to Jacmel
- $2,400 to $4,00 Haitian dollars (30 to 50 percent loss in bad goods, as reported by the women)