Danse Petro: Nou Vle Viv / We Want to Live

Asasen paused for a minute. He was in a small zodiac with an electric motor to reduce the noise. Stealth was important as he was penetrating the defenses of the island fortress the well to do businessmen and industrials had built and secured to live with their families. Ever since the events, which had turned the Republic of Haiti into a patchwork of gangs and small armies led by overlords, the rich and their families had bunkered in these small islands off the coast of St Marc along with family and essential workers. This enclave was surrounded by a net with acoustic devices to detect intruders, and it was patrolled day and night by armed security in fast speed boats with .50 caliber machine guns mounted. Vader’s men had found out how efficient and deadly these guards were when early after the events they tried to attack the enclave. With nearly two dozen boats with outboards, filled with gunmen the flotilla had attacked in force. They were met by a deluge of .50 caliber machine gun that killed over half of them before they even got as close as a thousand yards off the islands. It was a blood bath and from then on both Vader and the Lord had respected the enclave.

The sky was dark, with the moon hidden by clouds, a perfect night for his task. Asasen was going to enter this secured enclave on a mission from his master, the Lord of Port-au-Prince, as the gang leader had taken to calling himself lately. His job was simple. He had to get in one of the secured island fortress and do what he was trained to do; kill with extreme prejudice. Asasen was very good at that, having started when he was barely a teen. He could not count how many people he had sent to the other side, either on order from his boss and creator, the Lord, or sometimes just out of circumstances, like the time he shot the security guard in the club because of an insignificant fight, which he had not even been involved in. Unfortunately the security guard had stumbled and fell on his table, spilling the drinks on him and his date. Enraged, Asasen had pulled his Glock .40 and pumped five rounds into the poor guy, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Taking advantage of the darkness Asasen brought his boat near shore with only the net, which was made of fine steel covered with anti rust paint, between him and his target. As he arrived near the net surrounding the islands, He turned off the motor and slipped noiselessly in the water, which was cold, but the wet suit made the temperature bearable. He dived deep down, holding his breath. This was the key moment. The nets reached down nearly six feet into the water to detect anyone trying to penetrate. But Asasen was a diver who used to fish while swimming, so he dove down and went below the net careful not to shake it and trigger the listening devices. Once on the other side of the net, Asasen swam purposefully toward the nearby beach. It was a little after one o’clock in the morning

As he pulled himself on shore, Asasen was flabbergasted. He had expected to see a different environment than the dirty, grime full streets of Port-au-Prince, even though Lord tried to pick up some of the trash as opposed to Vader whose territory smelled badly from the garbage and decomposing bodies of rats, animals and sometimes people. Asasen was looking at a clean beach, pristine with coconut trees and here and there canopies and wide umbrellas; pastel colored garbage bins explained the absence of trash. The street beyond was clean, well paved and to his dismay brightly lit by street lamps. The houses on the other side were neat behind cute fences, which did little to protect the lawns and flowers blooming, but it seemed very safe and pleasant. To a man used to living in a ghetto this looked like paradise, and Asasen was impressed, but he had a job to do, and all this lighting made progress difficult.

First, Asasen removed his wet suit and hid it behind a set of bushes near the beach. He was dressed all in black with a black hood that left his eyes and nose free. He secured a long buck knife in a scabbard and a .25 caliber long nose Smith and Wesson with six rounds, an assassin’s gun. He also had a small Uzi submachine gun, strapped in a holster to his right thigh in case he had to spray and run, but he planned to do the job quietly, if possible. He had chosen his landing point carefully because it took him close to the house where his target lived. After checking his plan, Asasen crossed the street fast while crouched. As he reached the other side a small pick up truck on patrol drove by, barely missing the killer. Asasen crouched down his heart racing, it was a close call. He climbed the nearest fence into the yard of a house. crossed it quickly and climbed into the backyard of the house behind, his target. He stood in the dark to ensure there weren’t any dogs, then reassured he progressed toward the house. It was a two story chalet with a wide glass door leading into the backyard. The grass was well cut and there were three rose bushes near the patio leading to the sliding glass door. Once he reached the glass door, Asasen took a glass cutting tool and proceeded to cut a hole in the sliding door, making sure he produced as little noise as possible. After cutting the hole, the assassin stopped the glass from falling with a special tool and opened the sliding door from inside. Inside, he stood silent in the dark, adjusting his vision and listening intently. Once he was sure that his entry was undetected, he proceeded to the staircase by the front door. There, he climbed the ceramic tiled steps carefully staying near the wall and reached the second floor. According to the plan he had studied, the bedroom of his target was to the left, the second door after the bathroom. Asasen reached the door and twisted the handle slowly.

As he entered the room, he closed the door quickly, so that the open door would not create a draft that would awaken the sleeping man on the bed. The man turned and groaned in his sleep, causing Asasen to stand frozen, but the man continued to snore blissfully. The AC, which kept the rom cool and free of mosquitoes, made a small rumbling noise, so Asasen was able to move to the bed quietly. As he arrived there, he pulled his Smith and Wesson and fired three rounds into the man’s head, two in the ears and the last one in the right eye; the man died without waking, as his body jerked. The gun had a silencer and the noise it made did not go beyond the room. Asasen left the room quietly, closing the door behind him. As he turned to go toward the stairs he saw a woman who had reached the top of the stairs. She looked at him in surprise, and as she opened her mouth to speak he ran toward her and plunged his knife into her throat while putting his hand over her mouth. She died making a strangled noise, and as Asasen supported the body, he let it slide down to the ground quietly. He could not avoid the blood which came out of her throat like a geyser spilling all over him. This did not bother Asasen for he had seen too much blood to care about it. He made his way out of the house quickly, this time through the front door, which he opened quietly. One look outside, and he saw that the coast was clear, so he made his way around to the back, jumped over the fence into the yard behind. Shortly after he was swimming toward his anchored zodiac, content to have done his job. He wondered why he lived in squalor while others lived in such pristine comfort, well another target, another day of work.

NOU VLE VIV. We want to live. This was the slogan used by the group assembled to demonstrate against injustice, poverty and the death of many people the past weeks in general, and the two dancers whose burned body was found recently in particular. Nou Pap Domi, one of the groups which had called for the demonstration along with other organization, was trying once again to call attention to the unlivable conditions in the country by staging a peaceful sit in at the entrance of the Ministry of Justice. This was their second attempt to bring their message to the country by a peaceful demonstration. Pascale Solages, one of the spokesperson for the group Nou Pap Domi, said it with passion, we want to live in a country where our lives mean something. The week before they had staged a peaceful sit in at the same location, in front of the Ministry of Justice, only to have the police descend upon them firing tear gas canisters and fighting with the militants to confiscate their banners, to the dismay of those watching and the whole country afterwards. Since when do cops confiscate banners? In one particular case two young women, one of whom was Pascale, fought to keep their banners from an overzealous special unit policeman from the riot group, cursing him as they retained the white banner with black lettering.

A week later, this past Monday, July 6, 2020 Nou Pap Domi was intent on staging the same sit in at the same location, in a move of defiance to show the authorities that they wanted to live. WE WANT TO LIVE, was the rallying cry, along with TOO MUCH BLOOD HAS BEEN SPILLED. A crowd of hundreds had gathered this time on Ave Charles Summer, in front of the Ministry to bring their message of rejection of the new penal code and the general direction of the justice system in Haiti. Once again the police reacted with the usual brutality, unleashing a barrage of tear gas at the peaceful crowd, with no apparent reason. Every one had to leave the area and seek shelter in the streets surrounding, while others left. This time, however reminiscent of 1986-87, militants fought against the police, unleashing a barrage of stones thrown at the police while others lit tires and blocked the surrounding streets. As tires burned, the police had to contend with militants who spread the mayhem and chose to throw stones and disperse people who were trying to get the new ID card on Champ de Mars. It became a roving battle between cops and militants around the whole area, as this represents a new turn in the struggle to seek better conditions. Young people are down to fight the police and not retreat when they take to the streets. This is a new attitude that has been brought by worsening conditions, the specter of elections and this new penal code, which has foolishly been put forward by the president.

As of this writing the streets in downtown Port-au-Prince are ringing with gunfire while a large demonstration is going on in Solino. Tires are burning and while lower Delmas is a battle zone this group is calling for the ouster of the president. Later posts will update.

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