The “poteas” are the coyotes of the border

Many of the Haitians who cross the border illegally with the help of “los poteas o potiás” that operate on the border with the Dominican Republic, upon being arrested and repatriated to their country, are victims of kidnappings, blackmail, extortion and threats. by members of that band, they counted several immigrants.

The “poteas or potiás” are divided into various groups on the Haitian border. They dispute the trafficking of people and use Dominican transporters and motorcycle conchistas to transport illegals.

Some of them fight over human trafficking, many of them pregnant women.
“Two years ago I took 15,000 gourdes (12,000 Dominican pesos) from a pot to emigrate to the Dominican Republic, the guard arrested me and sent me back to my country, but three potas since I arrived they kidnapped me and until I paid the debt they did not they let go ”, revealed Oneito Chon Pierre.

A gregó that while they are in captivity the potias tell them if they want the meals to be provided by them or if they buy them with their money.

“With no money and nothing, we tell them to buy them, but when we reach an agreement, they charge us what we owed, what we ate, the bedroom, the use of water, bathroom and soap. A kidnapping for emigrating to the Dominican Republic is expensive in Haiti, so no one wants to let themselves be caught once they cross into this country, “he said.

The feminist activist from the Northwest of Haiti, Sonia Singer, declared that many of her compatriots returned by the Dominican authorities are kidnapped by the poteas if they do not have the resources to pay the money they borrowed.

“They lend them money, they have a staff that guides immigrants to cross the border to Dominican territory, they provide them with precarious food rations while they are in Haiti, but all this adds to their debts,” he denounced.

Regarding the complaints of many women that the members of the gangs who instruct them through the desolate roads and mountains of Haiti to cross the Dominican Republic, rape them sexually and that they commit other incalculable abuses against them, Singer responded that these characters they commit all kinds of abuses against these immigrants.

Nancé Francois, a Haitian merchant living in Santiago de los Caballeros, told Listín Diario that three years ago with financial aid and the guidance of the “poteas o potiás”, she crossed into Dominican territory, but was arrested by Dominican guards along with others from their compatriots and returned to their country.

“I arrived at my mother’s house in Mont Organisé, near the Dominican border, there were three potias and they demanded that I pay them, I told her that I had no money at that time,” he said.

She said that the next day they returned to her mother’s residence and that they took her kidnapped, where she spent five days in captivity, but that her father paid what was owed and they set her free.

“But at least two of them sexually abused me every night and threatened to kill me and do the same with my family if we did not pay the debts, it was something horrible,” he said.

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