Portail Leogane is once again a war zone. As late as Tuesday morning, April 14, the area was deserted, and people wanting to go south had to duck all around in streets leading to the only path that leads to four departments.
On Sunday, according to reports from radio station, nearly ten people were killed and many wounded from gunfire, the victims mostly street merchants and drivers working in the area. Gangs from Village de Dieu and Martissant fired heavy caliber guns and kept the population hunched in terror. Shots were heard all around Bicentennaire and downtown. As this was happening, even the police stayed clear as bandits took over. On Monday, the Minister of Justice, Lucmane Dellile, spoke forcefully and vowed to tackle the gangs causing the mayhem. He spoke of a strategy, which he kept confidential, to rid the area of the terror. We’ll have to wait and see what his martial tone will bring, but unless he tackles the government officials, senators and elected representatives who sponsor the gangs he is only blustering. The next day, this morning to be exact, gunfire rang out early and by 8 AM gangs had the area clear and deserted.
This is a situation that has been going on for nearly three years. Gangs from Gran Ravine, Ti Bwa and the villages near the seafront near Portail Leogane have taken over the only gateway to the south when leaving Port-au-Prince. Back in 2004 the area of Gran Ravine became a hotspot for crime, but the MINUSTAH, the UN body which occupied Haiti back then, installed an encampment with soldiers in Martissant, on the road leading to Gran Ravine, and the area became peaceful, although no one was disarmed then. Three years ago people started getting killed and trucks got hijacked by the gangs who also started to fight each other. Since then the area is called the VAR, like the famous soccer instant replay.
Fire and disaster has fallen upon our most cherished monuments. The Cathedral of Milot, built by King Henry Christophe, was the scene of a terrible fire, while the Citadelle Henry was also vandalized. There appears to be attemps to erase the achievements of the Haitian revolution which had a great impact in world history. First, as opposed to the French and American revolutions which are taught in most world history books, the Haitian revolution is ignored in most curriculum. Second, in 1991 and 2004 major efforts were made by the USA, France and the EU to stop or hinder any kind of celebration of these bicentennial dates, especially on the international stage. Some of us foolishly embarked on a social contract, led by colonization agents from Syria and Lebanon, and isolated the country in 2004, effectively preventing the celebration of an African revolution on the world stage. In 1991, shortly before we celebrated the meeting of Bwa Kayiman and the subsequent slave revolt that followed, VP of the USA Dan Quayle showed up in Haiti with a bag full to start political mayhem that marred the celebration. An event of international dimension was sabotaged.
More will follow. Please circulate because we need to see this.