Haiti’s National Police force, the PNH has been rendered useless to the population by a de facto illegal government bent on staying alive, even if it destroys the country. No police force in the world allows bandits to do what recent events show. Police stations have been attacked by gangs in Martissant first, then in various other locations where police officers ran away leaving station and equipment behind for the attackers. Many of the stations victimized are still closed, looking abandoned with debris from fire inside, proof that the high command of the PNH is incompetent and a large part of the problem. Everything done by the police seems to allow the gangs to grow, while taking away the capacity of the force to react decisively. With the advent of Bandi Legal, not only the judicial sector but also the police force have both been rendered useless by direct action of both the national government and the international tutors.
It took months before armored vehicles bought and supposedly paid for by the de facto government of Ariel Henry arrived in the airport in Port-au-Prince. Had these vehicles arrived sooner with supplies for the PNH, possible actions could have been taken against the gangs already. The international community which funded and trained the PNH ensured that the force would not be of service to the population. The high command answers to politicians rather than to the judicial system. All members of the high command receive funds and living expenses far above salaries of the rank and file officers and of most judges. Members of the police are paid a pittance, and if they are killed their family has to wait months before receiving any help, which is not enough to care for them.
Just like in all countries Haiti has always had its share of criminals, but they never had the power and the guns they have had under the PHTK regimes of Martelly and Moise. After dictator Jean Claude Duvalier fled the country in 1986, there was an organized criminal group called Zenglendo that terrorized Port-au-Prince and the metropolitan area there. But while these Zenglendos seem to have blessing from the authorities, they never challenged the police like the gangs are doing today. This is reminiscent of how crime increased greatly in Mexico after Native groups in Chiapas challenged the government while fighting for their rights. Right after the Zapatista movement came out in force, criminal elements started to take over towns and regions close to the uprising. It’s not a coincidence that in Haiti criminals are taking over when the population decided to get involved in fighting for a future. It’s a tried and true formula that has been used in many places by the CIA and others. The Coup d’Etat of 1991 was funded in part by drug dealers who also provided muscle. In 2004, President Aristide was overthrown by a coalition led by Guy Philippe, a convicted drug dealer. So the rise of Jimmy Cherizier, Lanmo San Jou and others is part of the same scenario.
A militant from Petion-Ville, Jean Denis was killed last night supposedly by men in uniform riding a police cruiser, according to witnesses. Jean Denis was shot, and his body was removed by his killers. He was involved in chasing Magalie Habitant, a supporter of PHTK and Martelly who was reportedly associated with the murder of former de facto president Jovenel Moise. She provided a house for the Colombian mercenaries who are incarcerated in Haiti for the murder of the former de facto president. Of course, we’re not saying Habitant ordered the killing, but it is a strange coincidence that after she condemned her attack during a demonstration in Petion-Ville, one of the militants who chased her is killed.
This fight for freedom is turning violent, militants and demonstrators need to change their approach. Stop the music and dancing, and start defending yourselves by being ready to fight. Just like the people of Sri Lanka did, it’s time to look for those politicians, like Ariel and his ministers who are sold out to U.S. and other people interest, and force them to step down. Just like people to in the Sudan acted, take all of them to jail, and start building the country again. Petro Caribe and CIRH need to be investigated, and until then the mobilization must continue.