Inevitably many voices and information get left out of the stories and videos journalists make Here from the Haitian-Dominican border are some of them; women who took time to air their concerns and views, hoping I’d bring them back to you.
“I’m not giving this without knowing why. I have to have a reason. Do I know where you’re going with this? To tell you how much money it costs, no, I can’t talk about that even with the person who lends me money.”
“When you have a business it’s to make money. (Holding up torn pepe): Look at this, what money am I going to make with this? This is what a Spanish person sends to you. Their side is well managed. Ours is not. They sell us 10 palettes of merchandise so we can lose our money, so we can always be asking for money. I would hope that if there was an organization, there would be change. There should be change, because things can’t keep on the same way. (Back to her sorting clothes) These cannot do the business. They are not good.”
“There are other things that you could do, but is there work in Haiti? The only thing one can really do is buy and sell. Other places in the world have businesses, the people do many things, they can look for other things to do. My dream was to have a business near my house, but there are too many so I didn’t do it. Everyone’s looking for something to do.”
“If the market was open every day we could sell. That’s what I think. (The Pedernales border market is only open two days a week.)
“If they close the market (the Martelly government has threatened to close the border to market traffic, saying it wants to prevent ontraband from being moved through the Dominican markets), we’re going to sell in other places, at Thiotte, for example. If they give us a market in Haiti, we will sell on our side. If they don’t , we will have to sell at Thiotte and Miragoane (if they close Pedernales)”
“We would like support so we can have our own market in our country. If we have a market in our country we won’t have to endure this kind of treatment. Day before yesterday, a lady came through the market with five bags of garlic. They confiscated all the garlic. But the lady had purchased this on credit, so she can earn a living. The Domincan guard took everything.
“There’s somebody from the office of the Pedernales mayor walking around the market collecting money. Sometimes they come to us, they understand. But some of them come with Dominican guards and rough us up. If we don’t have the money, they confiscate our merchandise. The question I’m asking the journalist: Are those things not violence that they do on us?”
“It’s difficult when you come to the market and you don’t sell anything. I have eight children. I have to pay for school. I have to feed them, When I come here and don’t sell anything, I have to walk the streets (selling pepe to Dominicans in Pedernales). I don’t want to do it, but I have to.