Danse Petro: Publi bla bla bla

Nowadays in Haiti, what transpires in the public eye is more often than not a well rehearsed episode that leaves the reality hidden. Persons act in the shadows away from the public eye, their actions hidden, while the repercussions are felt by everyone. With the last hostages free from the kidnapping of the religious members of an international Christian group and their families, the Christian Aid Ministries, the whole affair seemed like a well rehearsed play. Early on during the saga, I talked about this. I pointed out that the gang Mawozo had more pressure on them because they had to provide decent food to those persons in captivity, some of them children and toddlers, provide them with clean drinking water and keep mosquitoes from devouring their tender white skins. To do this required spending money and providing accommodations very different from what usual victims of kidnappings get.

From all reports that victims of kidnappings provide, persons are usually packed in rooms, their hands tied more often than not, with little food and proper drinking water provided. Those persons live in fear all through the ordeal, and it usually leaves lasting emotional damages on them. It seems that the hostages from the Christian Aid Ministries had much better treatment, as they were fed well and enjoyed a comfortable stay in the wilderness. After being released, they are not in bad shape, in need of emotional counseling it would appear. Seems they were treated with consideration.

You have to wonder about this whole affair. Eventually it will be told in a movie from Hollywood. There is no better script for a feel good drama, where the ending is full of suspense. The whole thing is surreal in how it happened, and shows how the life of the ordinary citizen living in Haiti is so different from that of an expatriate who supposedly came to help, but lives in a bubble far from the reality of those persons he or she is helping. This saga is a perfect example of the difference in how expatriates are treated compared to Haitians. The only case that looked like this involved the wife of Dimitry Herard, the formerly head of the president’s security detail, now incarcerated in the National Penitentiary. She was kidnapped and released, after she admitted having a pleasant stay. She was even given some gifts from her captors who cried real tears when she was picked up from Village de Dieu in a car driven by her husband. As it is often said in Haiti, rich Blacks are white.

Another case, the recent article published in The NY Times about the famous list of persons involved in drug trafficking in Haiti that deceased de facto president Jovenel Moise kept, presents more questions. First, the information about Kiko St Remy and Evinx Daniel is old news, which had been reported before. The fact that Jovenel Moise associated with the two supposedly drug barons was known to Haitian authorities and the DEA a long time ago. As I said things happen in the shadows, away from the public eye, but those in the know are aware of what’s really going on. Second, the DEA and most persons in the know are aware of all the players in the trade. Jovenel did not need to keep a list since he was laundering money for the big dealers, according to the indictment by Haitian authorities before he became president. Third, if Jovenel had really started to turn on his former associates he would have talked about it in the media. He was not the kind to stay quiet about things that mattered. So, this whole things has much more hidden than revealed. The sources for the article know much more than they have revealed. The game goes on in the shadows, and the public gets to watch the play, according to the script.

In Haiti, the media knows a lot, but reports very little related to the illegal drug trade. Reporters know to keep their mouth shut, or face certain death when it comes to the drug trade. The NY Times article did not say anything that a seasoned reporter in Haiti did not know. The difference is that as a foreigner far from the action, NY Times reporter Abi-Habib is safe and can name persons without fear. The drug trade in Haiti does not need publicity because everything is hidden, although some persons know what’s going on. Five months after his death no one knows for sure who is responsible for the murder of de facto president Jovenel Moise.


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