#netwayeAyiti2024: Rezistans

Well, fear is a powerful weapon, and in Haiti it has switched from a population being terrorized by well armed, blood thirsty groups of young thugs, to the bandits themselves being hounded, chased and killed in a quasi War in the Hood. The illegal, illegitimate, de facto government of Ariel Henry left the people at the mercy of those murdering thugs that it practically sponsored, and ordered the police to stand down, while allowing the gangs to take over territories. The population was left at the mercy of rapists, murderers and kidnappers who gathered persons everyday, while Ariel and his inept, illegal government concentrated on stealing as much as they could. Police officers were being killed by the gangs with impunity, while the population watched and cowered. Ariel and the government did nothing, except ask for intervention from their bosses, the U.S. State department and Canada, to insure they could remain in power, a la Sudre Dartiguenave.

But lo and behold, as my friend Alix said recently, the pot boiled over and the hot, scalding water is spilling. Bwa Kale! A rally cry that is the phrase of the day. A spontaneous reaction from an exasperated group of persons in Kanapeve, followed by a standoff and routing of other bandits in Debussy and Turgeau has started a movement of resistance within the population against gangsterism and bandits everywhere. This movement has spread everywhere in the republic, and as a result gangsters have to lay low. At least a couple of hundred young persons have been killed and their bodies burned in public, most of the times by mobs of persons hunting for criminals. In Miragoane, a town in the Nippes Region in the south, a government prosecutor called Muscadin started a version of Bwa Kale at least a year ago, when he started summarily executing bandits he caught in his jurisdiction. Back then, human rights activists criticized his approach, just like they are speaking against the movement today, echoing the hypocrisy of the Core Group members who have also spoken out against the movement.

Let’s look at the level of hypocrisy shown by the United States and Canada in terms of their policy toward Haiti. Both of these so called friends of Haiti have supported the de facto government of Ariel Henry, which has not been elected, to the point of saying in the words of Brian Nichols, a State Department representative, that the illegal prime minister is doing a “good job”. We are not even going to talk about what the good is, because that would be wasting time. Let us look at the lying double talk. Both of these countries have published lists of individuals they believe are involved in supporting gangs, and stealing government funds, while laundering money. Yet, even though the FBI, U.S. Marshals, the DEA and other law enforcement agencies come to Haiti often, no one has seen fit to come help Ariel and his government investigate those sanctioned individuals. No attempt has been made to go identify the networks used to import weapons and ammunition from the United States. So, a bunch of persons are identified as being behind the gangs, but they are left alone.

The population is mobilizing in numbers once again and taking its security in their own hands. Rank and file police officers have joined members of the population in tracking bandits and summarily executing them. As I said in the beginning, the fear has changed side, and gang bangers are laying low, staying in their fiefdoms, or leaving for the provinces or even the DR. Some commentators in the press, like Lilliane Pierre Paul, JM Metelus and others have come out speaking against the barbaric nature of this popular justice given to mostly young persons with no judgment. They have a point, although it is dubious. First, those media personalities claim that this violence is affecting children in a negative way. Okay, this makes sense, but way before that those same children were being affected by violence. Gangsters published images online of their enemies, and innocent victims being butchered. Young girls, and older women were raped often in front of children by gang bangers, and this was happening all the time in poor neighborhoods. In Cite Soleil, thousands have been killed during years of a senseless war between factions fed by politicians and their sponsors. During that time those media folks did not want to protect children, but suddenly when the population is mobilizing, it’s wrong to show violent retribution. Second, this is not the time to claim that criminals should be brought to justice when we know that many judges are corrupted, and criminals are let go non stop. Police officers were being killed at an alarming rate, now that no members of the police were killed during Bwa Kale, cops are not going to stop.

According to commentators on Radio Mega and Radio Megastar, there has been a sharp decrease in kidnappings since Bwa Kale. Bandits do not want to go hunting for victims, for fear of being identified and killed by vigilantes. The war between G9 and G Pep, two of the main gangs in Cite Soleil has come to a halt, and the population there has come out against both gangs. Persons in Kafou Fey have sided with the police in an ongoing fight in Savanne Pistache which has claimed a lot of victims. In Kanapeve and Debussy many persons are mobilized into neighborhood watch groups to fight and eliminate gangsters who come in. In Artibonite, many in the population are coming together with police officers to perform Bwa Kale in their area, hunting down gang bangers and summarily doing away with them. There are also innocent victims who have been killed because of denunciations by their enemies to mobs who cannot make the difference, but in the vast majority those killed were armed and dangerous. Some young women have also become victims of popular justice because they were part of gangs, or hung out with gang members. This calls for more organization and direction to the mobilization, so that innocent young men and women are not victimized because of how they look.

Grass roots activists need to get involved and provide more direction to the movement. Presently, rank and file police officers who were mobilized to install a syndicate are the ones at the front of the hunt for bandits. Many of them realize that they were at the forefront of victims of gangs, along with their families, and they have rebelled. They understand that Ariel and his plan is not in their advantage, and will destroy the country. Many want to remain in their home, so they have chosen to fight, along with the population. This can be the beginning of a vast movement to regain our independence if we gather together. Persons who are patriots in the diaspora need to find a way to join the mobilization, and give it guidance along with material support. As I said in my last post enough talk with no action.


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