Danse Petro: Crumbling Society

Today, twelfth day of March this year, all indices point to a complete decline in all aspects of life in Haiti. As if on a terrifying roller coaster, people live day by day, stressed while expecting the worse. The past couple of days persons in Petit Goave, a town reputed for the feast of Notre Dame in August and home of the world famous Dous Makos, have blocked the National Road to the South because of the kidnapping of a well known person. The demonstrators have closed all schools and businesses in town to demand the release of their peer taken near Port-au-Prince this past weekend. So goes life in Haiti these days. At the entrance of Port-au-Prince today, if you’re coming or going South, forget it. A battle is raging in Village de Dieu, a slum between the sea and the National Road no. 2, where heavily armed bandits are exchanging fire with units from the national police, the HNP, more on that later.

Last Sunday, once again, a massive demonstration gathered thousands of persons in Port-au-Prince, answering a call from workers in the medical profession who were tremendously angry about the killing of Doctor Pady, a pediatrician who was targeted by kidnappers, and the murder of a nurse. Early in the day doctors and medical personnel started gathering on Rue St Honore by the General Hospital and by 10:30 many militants were also present.on scene – “Doctors and nurses are here because Dr Pady was killed by kidnappers….we’ve had enough of this insecurity…..”, a militant was heard saying. Some of the militants usually seen on Champs de Mars joined the demonstration talking about a fellow called Matthieu who they said was Jovenel’s associate, as he has been arrested by DEA, and taken to the U.S. to face justice. Some persons put barricades of flaming tires in front of the Hospital barring traffic, as the crowd gathered peacefully. Before long many political leaders started showing up with militants bearing banners demanding respect for the constitution and many people calling for the removal of de facto president Moise the chief kidnapper with his accomplice Magalie Habitant…

Militants from Fanmi Lavals, Pitit Desalin and AAA were present to support the doctors, “down with Jovenel” they chanted.

Reporter and commentator on Radio TV Caraibes Jean M. Metellus was there. He said, “ Jovenel has to leave office…. I will always be on pavement when democracy is threatened.” Also, Emmanuela Douyon from Nou Pap Domi present for the march demanded police provide security to the population and further added that the president mandate is over.

In the afternoon Sunday a huge crowd of demonstrators met at Kafou Aeropo with the group of demonstrators led by doctors from Rue St Honore and those who had started in Delmas meeting. By late afternoon the demonstration ended in Canapé Vert, with militants and others vowing to continue mobilizing, while on Champs de Mars rocks thrown by militants and tear gas thrown by men from in uniform formed the back drop.

As we have stated in the title, all indicators are red, signaling a complete descent to unheard of poverty, famine for thousands and a complete dismemberment of the fabric of society in Haiti today. It seems that all reins of society are in the hands of bandits, criminals, amateur incompetent fools and rapacious politicians with no training. The situation is drastic because the system of disguised slavery has outlived its existence. People in the country are fast approaching the point of no return where significant parts of the population will go on a destructive rampage because there is no alternative. Today, Emmanuela Douyon of Nou Pap Domi and Rose Auguste, a cadre in the RNDDH, a militant human rights organization in Haiti, testified and told the truth to a committee in the United States Congress where elected members listened. Wether that will bring a change in policy toward Haiti is debatable, but at least some of the truth about what is going on in the country is coming to the forefront. And today violence and mobilization are in the mix.

In the Southern entrance of Port-au-Prince today a battle raged between units of the HNP and bandits from Village de Dieu and Gran Ravin. Reports from the area are sad and critical, it seems that up to five police officers were killed and their bodies defiled; there are clips of these gruesome acts circulating on social media. Bandits are seen celebrating on an armored vehicle used by police. Police officers were heard pleading for reinforcements and help, while heavy caliber gun shots could be heard in the area. It seems the operation ended with police officers retreating, leaving their comrades killed or seriously wounded in the hands of the bandits.

Police vehicle captured

This is evidence of poor planning by a police force that is more interested in gassing and shooting at unarmed demonstrators than performing serious training for operations requiring skill and intelligence. The bandits are as heavily armed as the HNP and they benefit from being home. If the police wants to defeat them they cannot just show up with no intelligence from trained observation coupled with up to date information. I will not go into details of this drama, but the rank and file in the HNP needs to think about their situation and act accordingly. Politicians with the government along with big importers and businessmen controlling the economy are the ones who give weapons and ammunition to arm groups of criminals. The police, which is tasked with controlling and defeating those criminals, is in a position where police officers are going to be victims, used as pawns by politicians and killed by criminals allied with the same politicians. With no one to protect it, the population is in the hands of legal and not so legal bandits to do as they please. Resistance is the only salvation. People need to figure out alternatives to protect themselves from criminals both in government and in their neighborhoods. The only solution to help this country avoid complete collapse is to fight for change, fight for a second independence.


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