In the comedy Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, the lead character explains his theory of how crime works in the United States, telling his buddy from down under that "drugs come in, weapons go out."
If Mr. Dundee had ended up on the island of Hispaniola instead of in California, he may have perhaps explained that crime works in the Dominican Republic works as following: "drugs go through, weapons come in, and trees go out."
While forest cover drops into the low single digits in Haiti, the government remains completely crippled in its ability to effectuate a shift in the country's cooking culture, gravitating towards liquid gas as the Dominican Republic did decades ago, successfully maintaining over 30% of its green areas in the process.
Today, however, a famine-inducing drought and the prospect of a civil war on the horizon means that the ecosystem of the island of Hispaniola is on the front lines of what could be a devastating and extremely prolonged conflict, with the country's trees serving as shock troops.
Although some thought the chaos wouldn't start until after Haiti's elections in a few weeks, it seems that the fire has already begun to rage, and in one of the most historic spots in the Americas.
|The point Admiral Columbus sought. El Morro|
According to the oldest Dominican newspaper, Listin Diario, Garcilazo de la Vega, a 16th century writer born in the Viceroyalty of Peru, wrote that a Spanish sailor and his 20 crewmen were dragged to the Caribbean in 1484, almost a decade before Admiral Columbus made the "discovery."
Alonso Sánchez, the lone survivor to make it back to Spain, met Admiral Columbus and told him of this marvelous place, giving him directions to the Morro of Montecristi, where a gold mine could be found at a distance of 20 leguas.
Today the Morro of Montecristi is in ashes, and in the same way that Admiral Columbus' arrival there heralded the end of the Taino people, so could the current fire to it which it has succumbed portend the end of the Dominican people.
|Ecological genocide, one truck ride at a time. Dajabon24Horas|
The Dominican Ministry of the Environment has revealed that the fire was set intentionally, and that endemic species may have been relegated to the pages of history, with illegal logging gangs the prime suspects for this crime against the past and the future of a fragile area.
Cesfront, the US Border Patrol-backed force created in the wake of 9/11 to prevent terrorist infiltration from Haiti, intercepted a truck leaving from Montecristi towards Haiti with more than 1000 endangered trees on its back.
In the past, immigration agents may have allowed the driver of the "truck of death" to continue on his way, but the country is reaching the point where even the most corrupt officials are beginning to question the morality of collaborating in what could eventually lead to the death of the Republic.