Danse Petro: Bel Air vs the Ogre

A row of houses burned down, with smoke still wafting in the air; the few people remaining, according to the reporter I heard were there because they had nowhere else to go, with a few claiming to resist. Everyone else had left during that weekend of terror before Easter Sunday when Bel Air became the scene of another massacre of people whose only crime is living in an area where most people oppose de facto president Jovenel Moise. Sarajevo has come to Haiti; snipers are shooting at people who must run through certain areas to get through, much like it was in Bosnia, except on a larger scale back then. We heard persons explaining that a lot of people have been shot by guys from Delmas 2, shooting high powered rifles at anyone going through the street. To get from one area to the next you must run, while ducking low behind walls. The massacre started on Thursday before Easter, as gunslingers from the G9, the federation of gangs allied to the government, came during the night lobbing tear gas, and shooting at people. Persons speaking on radio talk about a night of terror, when they had to run away from home in the middle of the night with bullets flying and houses set on fire. Women grabbed babies and children hiding before running away.

The drama in Bel Air is still going on now with little noise made from media in Haiti and abroad. There is no information on the amount of people killed, some say nearly a hundred as of today, but there is no official number. There are three important police units close to where this is happening, so close that you can walk to Champs de Mars and the presidential palace, yet all through the shooting and cries for help they never reacted. The UN and the Core group of handlers of the de facto president are silent, hiding behind the claim that it was gang violence. All around Champs de Mars, persons have taken refuge once again away from their home, with little in hand.

The police union, the SPNH or Syndicate for the National Police had no choice but put themselves on the side of the opposition to de facto president Jovenel Moise and the illegal Director of Police Leon Charles. Members of the union are being persecuted and put in jail, like Abelson Gwoneg, or in hiding like Yannick Joseph. The police officers are poorly paid, with no benefits to speak of. No medical benefits for them or their family, no insurance if they die on the job; no education stipend for children or even for themselves, no money for uniforms, comfort and well being. So the need for a union to negotiate a better treatment with a pension that is viable is very important, I would even say critical. Police officers need a voice that will represent them in shaping a good contract and better treatment for young men and women who only want to serve their country. By denying them a decent living, the higher ups are forcing them to do bad things to survive and feed their family. Most police officers cannot afford a car on their measly pay, but many of them drive expensive SUVs, makes you wonder.

Seven runs around the palace to purge it of the evil within. That was the goal of the different militant groups fighting de facto president Jovenel Moise this past Wednesday. Seven passes which started well, according to reports. Just like Jericho fell, the evil within this palace will come to pass. The plan in the works is the totally illegal referendum to change the constitution. Jovenel and the PHTK have anointed themselves as the only persons needed to decide the future of the country. They have decided to change the constitution even though everyone else in the country does not agree with them. The majority of associations, almost all the political parties not allied with the PHTK and all the organized religious groups are against this unilateral action by a de facto president who is decried by most. If this referendum passes the international community will rule Haiti for the rest of the century, while the population will starve and look to leave the country. You have to wonder if Haiti still exists as a country, and if Haitians still want to have a home.


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