Danse Petro: Kidnap inc.

I found this image in one of my whatsap groups, and I thought it was apropos with my latest thoughts. In Haiti, kidnapping is becoming more prevalent, and even people of modest means are affected. As the gangs are becoming stronger and have control over areas they operate in, they are kidnapping people to make more money. Since the police cannot enter their “turf” the gangs can snatch people and keep them for as long as they want, sometimes with conniving politicians giving them cover. It was not too long ago that Garcia Delva, the musician turned Senator representing L’Artibonite, was in contact with a group of kidnappers, which led to grave accusations of him working with the bandits. Since the Senator enjoys immunity from prosecution nothing came of all the evidence pointing to his involvement, so he is still in the senate.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Everyday someone is taken, most of the times the family of victims keeps it quiet, while they scramble to raise the money. But often the news gets out when the victim is well known, as in the case of Johnny Descollines, the former international soccer player who played brilliantly for Haiti during the Gold Cup in 1999. Who can forget the time when Johnny returned to Haiti after the Gold Cup where he scored a barrage of goals. The whole country was waiting for him at the airport, it seemed like, and for weeks his name was on all the airwaves. Sadly, he was kidnapped for ransom recently in Delmas. He was released shortly after, but the news caused shock in Haiti and in the diaspora. A well known businessman was taken during that time also. It is said that a large ransom was paid to get his release. Gangs in Martissant are targeting victims everyday in Turgeau, Bourdon and other residential areas. Many people are afraid of traveling to Haiti because of the likelihood that they will become victims of kidnapping. The tradition of having young students from the U.S. spend their summer vacation in the country has disappeared because parents know the country has become insecure.

Inside Job

In Haiti, whenever something is stolen the vast majority of the time the act is committed by someone living or working there. The other day someone broke into the Office of the Court Clerk in the Prosecutor’s office in Port-au-Prince, and removed key files from investigations of some notorious cases. Evidence in the investigation of the massacre in Lasalin that happened in November 2018, and evidence gathered from the case of Monferrier Dorval, the famed lawyer killed recently were taken. No one really knows how much evidence was taken, but there was no lock broken, as the thief, or thieves, got in and out with no one noticing anything, as if they were used to the the place. In most places this would be called an inside job. Everything points to someone on the inside because the lock was not broken, and no one noticed the theft until well after it was committed. This is a setback in the search for justice in those cases because key evidence is gone now. Nowadays the justice system has been taken over by the executive branch and corruption is common in the courts. It was already difficult to have cases investigated, with evidence stolen it has become more difficult for the victims of Lasalin to find justice. In the case of Monferrier Dorval the evidence taken will set the case back, and also the link between the First Lady and a person implicated in the crime was part of the information taken.

With the recent ruling in Haiti concerning the identity card, President Jovenel Moise has made it more difficult for Haitian citizens living in the diaspora to do business, vote and buy property in Haiti. By making the previous ID card that most Haitians living abroad possess non functional, and by demanding that banks, official agencies and transfer houses only recognize the new ID card, commonly called the Dermalog card, the government has made it more difficult because very few people living abroad had the opportunity and the time to get the new card. Never mind that there is widespread suspicion associated with the new card in terms of manipulation of the database that controls its use to vote during elections, who had time to travel and go stand in a long line unprotected during these days of Covid-19? By doing this the government is keeping many citizens who live in the U.S., Canada and other places from making the trip to vote in Haiti come election time. No one will bother coming to get the new card, waiting for it to be delivered after waiting in line to register and get your picture taken, and then traveling again to vote on Election Day. By pushing for people to go get the new card President Moise is alienating everybody in the diaspora who wanted to come vote in a real, fair election.

Of course upcoming elections are not possible anyway in Haiti now because the government is not trustworthy and legitimate enough to carry them out. This government was not elected honestly in the first place, and the past four years have been a disaster. Gangs have taken over large sections of the country, and they have become associates of the government, so any elections under these conditions would be a selection that would only involve crooks, drug dealers and degenerates. The international community with the U.S. in the lead is pushing for these elections with the hope that this will normalize things, but they will only get worse if crooks, bandits and people only interested in making money are elected to the parliament. The economy will worsen, justice will disappear and life will become hell in the Republic. Only the president and his allies want elections to take place, and the vast majority of people not associated with them do not want to participate in these elections. Most of the political parties do not want to participate in those elections but the government is pushing through anyway so they can impose their agenda. This would be the worse for the country because a parliament like that would signal disaster for Haiti. Everybody needs to put their hands together to stop the country from descending into hell by making all efforts no matter how small to help stop the PHTK, Jovenel Moise and their allies from taking over with their Machiavellian plans.

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