Danse Petro: Ominous Situation

Nowadays it looks like persons are hoarding for a time of tumult and major disorder in Haiti, especially in Port-au-Prince. Banks are experiencing a run on money deposited because most persons want to have their cash on hand, rather than leaving in the banks which may shut down soon if the situation worsens. By using draconian measures like limiting the amount of money you can withdraw, and cutting down on hours they provide service, the banks have been able to stay afloat, and keep some cash in their vaults.

Most banks mostly rely on savings accounts to exist, the more the better, which is why often lines are huge in the few branches in service, when persons want to perform a transaction. Today, there are huge crowds of people pushing and shoving in front of all banks in most towns in the country, especially in Port-au-Prince and its surrounding suburbs, Cap Haitien, Gonaives, and in Petion-Ville persons are near fighting because of the lines. Things are really bad because the hours of service are reduced, and if you’re in line outside, the doors will close with all persons being refused entry, and having to go home. As I said, persons are rushing to remove their money from the banks to have it on hand because they feel that times are going to get worse.

The gasoline shortage is still affecting most of the population badly despite a lot of empty talk from the de facto ineffective government in name only. With the Embassy of the United States and its counterpart the Embassy of Canada urging their respective citizens to leave Haiti as fast as they can, this seems like a warning before guns start imposing a war like environment, not that it’s not happening now in many areas of the country. Cite Soley has been a war zone for the past two years with a few breaks and short peace agreements between gangs fighting each other; it’s said that it is G9 against Gabriel. In Martissant, passage to the south is a murderous strangle hold on the population, with gangs either in collusion, or fighting each other, as it’s happening now with the renewed fighting between Gran Ravine and Ti Bwa. Many persons have been killed, while others have been kidnapped trying to get through Martissant to get home from downtown.

The hostage situation is still continuing

Sixteen U.S. citizens and a citizen of Canada, missionaries and their families are still being held captive for ransom by the Mawozo, a gang which operates in Croix des Bouquets and the area between Port-au-Prince and the border to the Dominican Republic. As I said in a previous post, there is a lot of unanswered questions about this kidnapping, with the U.S. government very passive so far. Is it time for an armed intervention to free the hostages? No one knows, but rumors of such action are running wild. In the meantime there is little word from the Mawozo leader Lanmo San Jou. No threats of harm to the hostages, and no bluster. Times are uncertain with a storm on the horizon. Stay tuned.

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