Recent events in Haiti have shown a marked degradation of the PNH, the Haitian National Police, which supposedly is the only legal force tasked with maintaining order and protecting the population from criminals. Of course we all know that the PNH is not the only group with weapons working for the government. De facto president Jovenel Moise is hell bent on taking complete control of all the institutions of importance in the country. If that means destroying or rendering the institution ineffective, as he has done with Parliament and the judicial branch, then it is what is. As I’ve just said the wannabe dictator has a lot of henchmen under arms, starting with the dubious restoration of the army, a minute amount of men dressed in olive green who have little training, save for shooting at civilians. Then you have the team for the protection of the environment and protected areas. This is a ragtag group of civilians with rifles and handguns who are spread out throughout the country, serving the president and themselves occasionally. Another group of men with weapons is the newly created and shadowy intelligence agency, the ANI, which is an illegal entity at the service of the De facto president. All these groups were created not to help the police protect the population, but to help the wannabe dictator ensure he has a “force de frappe” to do his dirty work. Of course Jovenel has also enrolled the G 9 to control the people living in the slums, which are spreading and becoming living areas for the majority of a displaced population. So as Jovenel Moise once said, if you get rid of me what about all these persons with weapons in the country, what will you do with them? The de facto president said that almost a year ago, so his replica of the Macoutes from the Duvalier era is growing. This brings us to the PNH and its recent travails.
Now for de facto president Moise, the target is the PNH, which is shaken and battered by all kinds of bad happenings for a long time now, but this situation was made worse by efforts to either control it from the palace or break it down, as we witness recent events. All over the world, when police officers encounter lethal force, and call for back up, other officers from near and far converge to rescue their comrades, and show the persons firing on them that they control all parts of the country. In Jamaica, a few years back when the renown gang leader Dudus defied the police and the Jamaican Defense Force, he had to give up or watch the killing of a massive amount of people in Tivoli Gardens, the neighborhood he was hiding in. A government cannot allow areas to fall out of its control, unless they work hand in hand with those gangsters. When police officers called for back up before they were slaughtered by gangsters in the Village de Dieu, no one showed up to provide help to them. It looked like it was a sinister plan to embarrass the PNH.
By putting Leon Charles in charge of the PNH, de facto president Moise moved to make the police force his tool to crush all peaceful or non peaceful demonstrations by persons against his regime. Also Charles was fired from the PNH back in 2004 for organizing death squads within the force, using them to spread a reign of terror in the slums. Now he is back to do the bidding of the highest bidder, stopping the police from truly challenging the gangs, and letting kidnappings take place with no reprisal for the perpetrators. This is bringing corruption in the PNH because police officers work hand in hand with gangsters to do the bidding of the persons in power, while also making extra money in kidnappings, either by participating actively, or providing logistics. The majority of the police officers want to remain honest and back away from the corruption, but the incentives and money to participate or look the other way pull many of them in.
The recent clash between police officers demonstrating for better conditions in the PNH with the Fantom 509, the group that takes to the streets shooting, blocking traffic and burning state owned vehicles, left an officer dead, and showed the deep division in the force fostered by the hierarchy and the palace folks. The rank and file officers in the PNH want a salary that is worthwhile because presently the average salary for a police officer in Haiti is around 350 U.S. dollars a month, a pittance with the cost of living very high. So, the police officers want to start a syndicate, the SPNH to look out for their interest, and raise their salary. This has led to many of these officers in the syndicate getting arrested for trumped up charges to kill the syndicate. The hierarchy does not want a syndicate that will force them to respect officers rights and stop using gangsters with police uniforms. This has led to the police putting honest officers in prison, while the force loses credibility. This also has led to police fighting police in the streets, further weakening the force. It looks like the PNH will change from a judicial associate of the judiciary to a rogue force . Only resistance can stop this sinister plan. The upcoming three days of resistance will continue the fight versus dictatorship.