#netwayeAyiti2024 #cleanupHaiti2024: Lies, Lies and More Lies

Helen Lalime, UN Head of Mission who applauded the G9 as Good For the country

Nowadays in Haiti lying has become the trademark of everyone involved in the county’s affairs. The UN Head of the Mission has lied so often that it seems she’s incapable of telling the truth. Anytime she speaks her words are so untruthful it is a good bet to ignore them. Mostly only harm comes from paying attention to the propaganda she utters, starting from when she applauded after gangsters federated themselves in Port-au-Prince into a group, the G9, to today when she’s claiming that the mission she heads has done a good job, and merits to be renewed. More money allocated, a longer “Tourista” styling, the beach house in a secure isolated spot, a fat bank account are the perks associated with the renewal of the BINUH, as this paradise mission in the middle of hell is called. Here you have folks who are government employees assigned to a high level post in Haiti and who lived on a comfortable salary at home, but nothing to boast about. Now these folks find themselves enjoying maids, cooks that serve them meals they wouldn’t dream of enjoying at home on a daily basis, with a variety of fresh fruit and natural juice along with chauffeurs to take them around. They have all kind of security, riding in armor plated cars, like rappers in L.A., and live a life akin to a movie. It is in their interest to lie, cheat and fabricate reality to keep living large. The worse the situation, the more they can continue to enjoy the perks. Lying will keep the harvest growing.

Lying will keep the harvest growing

We Haitians, wether in the country or abroad live our daily lives as if everything is ok at home, even though the opposite is the reality. For example today there is a shortage of gasoline in all towns in Haiti, and drivers, as well as motorcycle taxis are forced to pay twice the regular price on the street, if they’re lucky, while gas stations are all closed. Depending on where you are you pay twice or three times the price set by the government to people on sidewalks or side of the road. This is illegal, according to a recent law, but even police officers buy it from the street. The Minister of Commerce lies by saying gas is available even though all stations are closed. Instead of taking action, any kind of action, drivers and motorcycle taxi drivers meekly pay the ransom to dealers in the street. That kind of gasoline is not always trustworthy, so many have had to do costly repairs from bad gas.

A population held hostage

Persons are being killed and kidnapped daily in Haiti, while the Minister of Justice and Public Security lies all the time saying that measures are being put in place to control the territory. In Torcell, in upper Delmas, gangs are terrorizing the population, the same in Pernier, near the Police Academy, yet nothing is being done by the authorities who should be tending their resignation in a normal country. We are allowing persons with no legitimate mandate to drag our country down to a level never seen before. Young persons who are the future of the nation are being killed daily, as joining a gang is the only way they can make a living.

Kidnapping is a business, with politicians working with gangs to fill up their war chests in anticipation of selection/elections that will be held sooner than we think. The population does not need that right now because only harm to the nation will be the result. Crooked persons tied to gangs or drug dealers will be selected in a sham election, while the very few politicians who can be considered honest will mostly abstain, and the few who participate to make a little dough and enhance their resume will lose. They will make the selection legitimate by participating with lies and promises from “friends” who will make them believe they will win. The case of Mirlande Manigat comes to mind when analyzing the emergence of bandi legal Martelly. The former president was a distant 5th in the voting count after the final count. Manigat entered the second round full of lies and promises from core group embassies, only to lose a rigged selection when her own camp curiously ran an inefficient campaign. The UN has lied repeatedly about its role during elections in Haiti, usually providing logistics in order to control how ballots are handled.

Today most of the accords reached the past months are null and void because persons lied about their intentions. It was to be expected since a lot of the persons who signed and represented their groups did not trust each other, and also said all the right things, while not being ready to follow up and fulfill their promises. Most of the participants in the Montana Accord receive advice and funding from members of the Core Group, so the idea that it was a solution that Haitians came up with and would control is at best naive. The only path to survival is reconciling the middle class and the masses in a true mobilization to reclaim our heritage. The majority of the population is poor and most do not trust anyone in the shrinking middle class where most politicians come from. Many militants have had to hide from gangsters sold to the PHTK, so the movement needs help from abroad, as well as inside the country. In a future post I will lay out how trust can be established once again, so we can unite and take action.

#netwayeAyiti2024 : Restitution vs GNB

Back in mid 2004, there was a movie called GNB vs Attila which really depicted the brainwashing that prevailed during and in the aftermath of the Coup d’Etat against then democratically elected former President of Haiti Jean Bertrand Aristide. The wildest rumors became truth in a campaign orchestrated by French and U.S. agents, with the help of Haitians politicians, civil society leaders and members of the leadership in a majority of universities. All to sabotage the bicentennial in 2004 and the demand for restitution made by then President Aristide.

Nowadays, the Haitian civil society, as it is called, is leading the Montana Accord, the coalition in opposition to the government led by de facto prime minister Ariel Henry in an attempt to lead a period of transition. First, this so called civil society represents only themselves and their respective associations and organizations, which account for very little in terms of leadership of the population. These so called leaders only lead their friends and a few persons looking for an opportunity to make some money, similarly to most politicians in Haiti. Second, the majority of these leaders of civil society are funded by foreigners in the form of grants, which can be traced to governments in the United States, France, and the rest of the Core Group of friendnemies. With the funding there is advice from the purse holders that gives direction to those “soldiers of the cause”.

Back in 2003 at the height of GNB, I remember participating in the meeting of the civil society parliament of the Caribbean countries, which gathered representatives from different civil and non government groups from the region. The representatives from the other countries like Trinidad, Dominica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and some of the others could not understand why all the members of organizations and groups from Haiti repudiated the call for reparations from France made by then President Aristide because they claimed that the money would be stolen. Most of the people from other countries participating in the meeting were from progressive organizations which fully supported the concept of reparations, which was a novel idea then, but the Haitian participants were adamant in their opposition to the demands for restitution and the celebration of the bicentennial of Haiti’s independence. They claimed that both of these things would benefit Aristide whom they said was a dictator, even though he was democratically elected. None of the civil society groups in Haiti organized anything to celebrate the bicentennial. They were more interested in destroying anything that was organized to commemorate the achievements by the Haitian revolution. As for the demand for reparations and restitution, they were quickly forgotten once Aristide was overthrown. Today, these same demands are at the forefront because of articles by The NY Times. Leaders of associations in Haiti did not bring up the role France played back in the 1840s and later in pushing our country in poverty. It was reporters from the U.S. publication who wanted to highlight the robbery of the century.

De facto Prime Minister Ariel Henry is once again talking about elections, while planning to represent Haiti in the meeting of Nations of the Americas. This guy acts as if he was elected by a majority, not selected by Core Group ambassadors in a tweet. Haitians everywhere should be up in arms because of the disdain, contempt and belittling of our sovereignty by those who have put Henry in power. While representatives from Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, all countries with elected governments, are given problems Ariel Henry is welcomed as our leader. We should not accept such an insult to our dignity. There was a time when Haitians took control of the financial district after shaking the Brooklyn Bridge in New York to declare that we did not have AIDS. We need to recapture that spirit. It is inconceivable that Haitians everywhere are going about life as usual, while our sovereignty is being soiled by those who are making a mockery out of our country with the help and participation of our sold out politicians and so called civic leaders. The youth in Haiti deserves better and it needs all the support that dignity can garner. We have a beautiful country, rich in resources and natural scenery waiting to feed and embrace all Haitians.

#netwayeAyiti2024 #cleanupHaiti2024 : Beyond Contempt

With each day bringing a new crisis, the Haitian government, led by de facto prime minister Ariel Henry, has chosen to remain silent as if everything is fine in a country that is disintegrating. As of today it is very difficult to travel outside of Port-au-Prince safely wether you’re traveling North, South or even East for that matter because of gangs ruling the road, while fighting each other. Inside the under siege capital of the country, persons are getting kidnapped everyday, and held for ransom, while many are killed for no apparent reason as was the case of Osny Zidor, the medical student from Petit Goave. She was killed while riding a motorcycle taxi near Canapé Vert. Her death sparked an outcry for justice from the university students and professors, mainly from the School of Medicine where she was studying to become a doctor.

Prime minister Henry who has taught at the school stayed silent, just like he said nothing after nearly two or maybe three dozen persons were killed in the areas north and east of the capital when two gangs, Mawozo and Chen Mechan started a rumble to see who is top dog in the Plaine area, north and east of the capital. Most of the victims were innocent persons living in the areas where heavy fighting occurred, with constant shootings from heavy caliber guns. Many persons left the areas, while gangsters set fire to their homes in Butte Boyer and Marin. Both gangs have suffered losses from the battle, while the government has remained silent, save for the police which seems to have attacked Mawozo in Croix des Bouquets.

Nothing seems to faze the authorities who don’t even try to solve any of the pressing problems affecting the country. Presently, there is a shortage of gasoline in all towns in the country, as well as in the capital, the minister of commerce claims that there is gasoline in gas stations, but they remain closed these past few days. In the street, in full view of police, persons are selling the precious liquid at six to seven times the official price, wether in Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien or Les Cayes. Coupled with that is the severe rationing in electricity that has left the whole country in the dark. Businesses are suffering because they have no electricity and cannot run generators because gasoline and diesel fuel is scarce and super expensive.

Haitians everywhere need to come together to solve problems we are facing. Even if you live in the diaspora you’re affected by the deterioration of our home, which reflects on our identity as a people. The situation we are going through is the result of years of maneuvering by forces inside the country led by the U.S., France and to lesser extent Canada, which have led us to the present. Unless we identify and neutralize those who are puppets and soldiers for foreign enablers the situation will get worse. As Dr. Frantz Large said recently, the Core Group of foreign rulers want to take effective control of Haiti to exploit our mines and oil. Gold, copper, silver and oil are present in the ground, and foreign interests, mainly from the United States want all of it. By selecting corrupt leaders, they ensure their take over of all natural resources and our labor force, while only paying pennies to the crooks they select. In the meantime Haitians everywhere will remain poor and destined to work hard abroad for measly salaries, except for a few.

Only worldwide mobilization will allow us to restore our half of the island to its natural beauty, with plenty for all to eat and live in dignity. There is no time to waste because 2024 is around the corner. We must clean our environment and rid ourselves of negative thoughts and actions that are hindering us from coming together. We are all brothers and sisters wether in Port-au-Prince or in the countryside, and only by respecting and paying attention to each other’s needs will we succeed.

Danse Petro: Murder for Hire

In a shameful display of human rights violation, men dressed in uniforms of the Haitian National Police fired on a crowd of peaceful demonstrators yesterday, killing a journalist, Lazarre Maxilien, who was covering the march organized by factory workers in Delmas, as they were demanding fair wages.

We can only call this murder on a member of the press. There have been many attempts to control how the news is reported, and how commentary is offered also. The PNH was looking bad when reports showed members of the force brutalizing women who are peacefully demanding a raise so they can live decently. The factory owners also looked bad because everybody knows they pay the police to breakup demonstrations. So the answer is to fire on a group that included some journalists to intimidate the press. Most journalists working the street are not paid a lot of money, and they receive little in terms of benefits. It’s a job that demands courage and dedication because there is danger, as was seen yesterday when police officers riding in an unmarked pickup shot at the demonstration, killing Lazarre and wounding others. It looks like the PNH is working to suppress persons trying to exercise their lawful right to protest, especially workers demanding a better salary and benefits for their labor. As of today, aside from a vague statement talking about investigating the shooting, the police has not said anything to inform the public about their reprehensible actions.

Ariel Henry wants to install a police state on the population, while gangsters control a lot of neighborhoods, including parts of national roads allowing persons to travel in and out of Port-au-Prince in the south and the east. Roads in Martissant and Croix-des-Bouquets are controlled by gangs who shoot at persons and vehicles anytime they want. These gangsters make money charging money to allow safe passage through their territory for individuals and merchandise in trucks going south or heading to the border with the Dominican Republic. The de facto Prime Minister is not concerned with reigning in criminals and gangs, concentrating instead on repressing demonstrations and intimidating political opponents. Crime is exploding with kidnappers running freely, while persons are shot daily by robbers and assassins. On Wednesday this week some criminals shot at the Petit Seminaire, College Saint Martial, one of the oldest school in Haiti, forcing students to hit the floor, cowering from bullets. And through all this the authorities have done very little, throwing tear gas and shooting at demonstrators who are demanding a chance to live like human beings.

There is so much beauty in our country, and we need to come together to stop the destruction of our culture. The Core Group allied with the persons making a fortune selling imported food and supplies, while running factories and businesses are putting together a plan to eliminate a good part of the population through famine, diseases and crime, and take control of all resources, including labor. It is not a coincidence that a lot of members of universities have been targeted by kidnappings and murders. Just the other day an eminent university Professor was murdered. He was also an expert on computers who worked for the central bank which controls and regulates banking in the country. By destroying education you ensure that there is no one to fight in the future.

Persons are slowly mobilizing to take control of their lives. The factory workers and militants allied to their cause are demonstrating again today, raising the consciousness in the population which will eventually realize that they hold their future in their hands. Also the Protestant sector has started to demonstrate against kidnappings because pastors have been victims. A well known pastor, Remy Lochard, was taken by kidnappers over a week ago, and this has brought out many persons who are demanding his release. As usual, the police has done nothing to investigate and pursue the bandits who took the pastor. People have realized that help is not coming, and they must organize to defend themselves.

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With all the problems in the country, persons in Jacmel still organized carnival celebrations to mark the occasion. As usual, the colors were vibrant with costumes, musical groups and people partying. My friend Patrice Douge, a great photographer provided some beautiful photos which I’ll display a few.

#netwayeAyiti2024

#cleanupHaiti2024

Danse Petro: Rezistans

Rezistans oswa disparet

Well it looks like Haiti’s future is bought and paid for; the contract has been drawn up by the Core Group of so called friends, only the names of the sellers are missing.

Early today, syndicates representing workers from factories demonstrated on the airport road, near the area known as Twa Men in Delmas where many factories operate in the industrial park; they are demanding the equivalent of nearly fifteen dollars U. S. a day, which is barely enough to survive these days. Judging from what these factory workers are paid, it’s modern day slavery. They get the equivalent of U.S. five dollars or less a day, while working close to twelve hours with very little break. Women make up most of the work force, and as such they are really abused with low pay, no benefits to speak of, very little vacation or rest, no drinking water provided and poor sanitary conditions.

In factories in Haiti, persons work like slaves on a plantation because their inadequate, next to nothing salaries that cannot provide a decent living, coupled with the slave like working conditions represent modern day slavery. On top of this many of the women are abused sexually with constants talk and forced sexual favors to the supervisors who are mostly foreigners. Factory owners make a substantial profit because they pay the workers next to nothing, while investing little in making the work space modern and comfortable. They suppress all attempts by the workers to organize and get a decent, humane treatment, firing workers at will.

So, just like the day before, these workers took to the street near the industrial park to demand a daily salary of 1500 gourdes, nearly equal to fifteen U.S. dollars, to be able to survive. Many militants joined the march to support the factory workers, and the demonstration numbered a few thousand persons. With the pay these workers get they cannot afford transportation to work, and many of them walk miles to save enough to feed their children. Lunch is a luxury for many of them because the cost of food has risen to keep up with a murderous inflation. The salary they’re asking is going to barely allow them to survive, to send their children to school dressed properly with a full stomach, and save a few gourdes for a rainy day. They’ve decided that resistance is the only solution, and despite being chased and suppressed by the police, they will continue to fight.

The PNH, Haitian National Police used an abundance of tear gas, and fired many rounds to disperse the demonstration, forcing the crowd to fight by throwing rocks and regrouping after clashes. It was a shameful show of violent repression by police officers who recently took to the street to demand a better salary and benefits. The police tossed tear gas on the march, and many persons, mostly women, suffered from inhaling the smoke and the running in panic. Those police officers are not very smart because the same persons who are ordering them to suppress a lawful demonstration are keeping them down by denying them a decent salary, and oppressing them. The average police officer who is not associated with gangsters, kidnappers or drug dealers is poor, barely able to make ends meet, especially if he or she has a family. The officers in the high command are making a good amount of money by preventing the rank and file from getting a good pay and benefits, so they do not want a syndicate for the force. All this is to show that when police officers suppress workers trying to get better pay, they only hurt their own efforts to get better working conditions and a decent salary. Sadly, these cops do not realize that the pittance they’re getting from the factory bosses to suppress the just demands of fellow workers will cost them ten times more in the future, fools on a leash.

As I said at the start of this post, the Core Group is working on a selection process in Haiti, which they will masquerade as an election, to choose the next leaders who will sell them the country’s wealth. De facto Prime Minister Henry is the selected band leader for now, but he has competition. The different accords which rallied to a couple of agreements, but remained divided, have each presented a plan for transition. The Montana Accord even elected a provisional president and a Prime Minister to lead the transition and organize a national conference to help all Haitians come together. It all sounds nice on paper, but many of the participants receive money from foreign groups, while others benefit from the status quo. So now, de facto Prime Minister Henry is pitted against the Montana Accord in a fight for control of the government, with another group in the hunt, the ten remaining elected senators whose mandate is almost finished and who cannot vote on anything because they cannot reach a quorum and also cannot meet in a National Assembly. All these politicians from various political parties also must take other persons into account because militants are mobilizing and organizing the population. The population has lost trust in politicians, so only grassroots militants can mobilize large amounts of persons.

Resistance is the only way to stop the Clinton gang and the Core Group from recycling the PHTK to control the presidency and the parliament. The foreign tutors are already drawing up the new constitution for Haiti to allow them to exploit all the mining wealth, and keep the population from creating wealth for themselves. The aim is to keep the majority of the population as consumers for imported food and supplies, while they work in menial jobs, with a few in the service industry struggling to make ends meet. Foreign companies will get lucrative contracts to exploit the mines and the offshore oil, giving very little to the country, mostly small sums to corrupt political leaders. The middle class will practically disappear, and the poor will live in squalor and experience widespread hunger.

The only way out of this murderous plan is for persons who want a better Haiti to come together and resist, or else we will perish or become a nation of wanderers, with a majority of Haitians living abroad, while foreigners own everything of value. The workers who demonstrated today are part of the coalition we need to put together to defeat those who want to take our home away. We need to ensure that support is provided to those who want to unite and fight. There isn’t much time left, and only true dedication will work, dedication to respect our ancestors, and clean up ourselves and our home.

#netwayeAyiti2024 #cleanupHaiti2024

Photograph by Patrice Douge

Danse Petro: Chaos & De Facto Politics

Today, the situation in Port-au-Prince is chaotic, as downtown on Grand Rue and near Bicentennaire there is a scene of panic, with cars, motorcycles and persons running away because of heavy shooting. On Lalue, demonstrators are burning tires and calling for de facto Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s resignation. In Bourdon, barricades with tires burning have blocked traffic and persons are rushing to retrieve their children from nearby schools; heavy gunfire punctuates the air, adding to the sense of panic experienced by many.

This is a reflection of the chaos reigning in Haiti, particularly the Port-au-Prince region, because of the uncertain political situation. A de facto President has been selected by participants of the Montana Accord who have chosen Fritz Jean as interim president and Steven Benoit as de facto Prime Minister. Of course this selection is not the will of the population, but the choice of a group of organizations belonging to the so called civil sector. It’s an attempt for them to become relevant in political decision making which is mostly made by the Core group of countries looking to reduce Haiti to the level of a colony. According to those foreign tutors, Haitians cannot govern themselves, so the Core bosses must choose leaders for the country, and pass laws that will favor the takeover of the country’s resources, especially minerals and oil. The Montana Accord claims to look for ways for Haitians to start coming together to take control of the political spectrum, but many of the persons who are participating in the accord are controlled by foreign bosses who tell them what to do. The so called civil society is mostly funded by the U.S. and the French through grants, with Canada increasing its control lately.

While politicians of all kinds are fighting each other for the crumbs that will be left by the real bosses, foreigners with plans for Haiti’s wealth, the country is swimming in garbage, all the while the population suffers from insecurity and environmental disaster. Last weekend diluvial rain transformed large parts of Cap Haitien into a lake, with many houses flooded. Persons there lost a lot of personal effects when water entered homes and flooded first floors in many neighborhoods. Nothing has been done for the long term recovery of places in the south which were destroyed by the earthquake a few months ago. Life goes on in a country bathed in garbage.

Martissant is experiencing chaos and fear today because of heavy shooting, and a fire is raging between Martissant 21 and Fontamara. Persons are running away from the area and heavy gunfire is heard, according to radio reports from Zenith FM. There are a few casualties, as a couple of people have been brought to the hospital, but no one can go to the area to give a precise account of persons hurt or killed because of the shooting. Is the display of violence because of Magalie Habitant called in by authorities for corruption? No one can say so for sure, but her lawyers are using the insecurity to avoid showing up. Habitant is accused of corruption while she was in charge of the agency controlling garbage removal. A lot of money was diverted and the Court to control administrative affairs published a report saying Habitant is accused of corruption. Moreover, she has been associated with many persons with gang affiliations, and we all remember how she drove alone in the middle of the night to pick up two Dominicans and their translator who were released from capture from kidnappers.

Persons are dying in Haiti almost everyday, and according to a report compiled by Dr. Dabanski, as heard on the air, fifty or more people were killed in the country during the month of January, and the count does not include those persons killed by the gangs, and the bodies tossed or set on fire. That’s a lot of people killed in one month. Hunger is spreading in the slums and in the countryside where famine has started in some areas. There appears to be a plan to starve a good deal of the population, while the gangs prevent the population from organizing economic activities to feed themselves. In the towns, the price of food is forcing many persons to be malnourished, causing them to become weak and susceptible to many diseases. The environment is full of garbage, so germs are everywhere, and most people don’t even have enough water to wash themselves thoroughly.

Will February seventh signal a change? On that day, de facto Prime Minister Ariel Henry will lose whatever veneer of legality he has in occupying his post. He was supposedly selected by deceased de facto president Jovenel Moise whose mandate ended in 2021, but who refused to give up power until February Seventh 2022. So after the Seventh he will have no legal right to stay as Prime Minister according to the constitution. Politicians opposed to Ariel Henry will demand that he resign, and the police, which is the only legal force in the country will be in a bind. Either the Haitian National Police supports Ariel Henry in illegally staying on, or it removes him from his post, but with no one clearly ready to assume interim power. In either case, you can bet the Blan has something cooking and only popular mobilizing will stop that nefarious plan.

#netwayeAyiti2024. All together with a goal in mind

Danse Petro: Sorrowful times

Two more journalists murdered in Laboule 12 a couple of days ago. After the threats made toward Zenith FM by the gang Mawozo, this wanton killing of two young men who were working for an online media outlet in Haiti, Amady Jhon Wesley and a colleague, is a result of the anarchy in the streets encouraged by the government. Quality of life is very bad presently in the country, but the population is kept from taking to the streets and demanding better living conditions because of fear and insecurity. The regime in charge of the government is continuing with the policy of allowing the gangs to control the slums and ghetto neighborhoods where the majority of the population lives, in order to stop people from mobilizing. And presently, the gangs are moving to areas where persons with money have built big comfortable homes, like Laboule and the Plaine du Cul de Sac.

A few months ago, a turf war started up in Laboule, in the hills above Petion-Ville, where many persons with high income and assets live, between two different gangs which originally operated downtown. According to reports from media outlets, the fight started because a landowner in the area with connections with a gang in Martissant brought some members up to intimidate small land owners in the area. Soon after shots were fired everyday, and a gang war was transplanted from the southern entrance of Port-au-Prince to Laboule. Law abiding residents in the area are living through a nightmare because of shots fired every night, and insecurity in the formerly peaceful neighborhood once it’s dark.

The start of the new year has brought more kidnappings, as persons have been snatched in Petion-Ville, often in broad daylight. The Haitian National Police, or PNH, looks like amateur spectators while insecurity ravages the capital and surrounding suburbs. Is the PNH that inefficient or is it part of the plan to stay in power by keeping the police on a short leash? Often, persons say the gangs have more firepower and that the police cannot match them. Curiously enough, back in the tumultuous days of Peyi Lok, when barricades were set up all over the country by a large amount of the population, the PNH had well armed special units, with .50 caliber machine guns on pickup trucks, along with M-60 machine guns. There were rumors of snipers from foreign countries shooting demonstrators near the palace. A few months ago, a group of police officers from the CIMO, a special unit trained to fight urban uprisings, became angry because one of the members of their unit was killed by the gang headed by BBQ, the G9 leader. They entered BBQ’s turf in Delmas 6 and destroyed his headquarters, while breaking into his house and damaging cars there. They met little resistance because Cherizier, aka BBQ, ran and hid in Lasalin. The police officers involved were ordered back and transferred far from Delmas. Around New Year’s Eve, BBQ returned to Delmas and started a fight in Bel Air that is still going on. Many homes in the area between Bel Air and Lower Delmas have been taken over by gang bangers, forcing the persons who lived there to run for their lives, abandoning homes and everything behind. No one knows how many were killed because it’s no man’s land.

The HNP has the firepower and the training to fight the gangs and probably eradicate most of them if ordered to do so. Between the SWAT and the other special unit, a task force can make life hard for gangs, which are mostly made up of untrained young men who cannot carry a strategic fight. There will be some collateral damage because gang bangers are part of the population, and they will hide behind women and children, but if the HNP has the support of the government it will prevail. The population needs to put pressure on the authorities to stop supporting this situation, and make the environment safe and peaceful. Elections cannot and must not take place until insecurity is curtailed, even though a bunch of greedy politicians, allied with gangs are calling for them.

Danse Petro: Well, year has to end

In Haiti 2021 is coming to an end, trying to land on a field full of obstacles. The year has been tumultuous, to say the least, with the social and economic situation going down month after month, and insecurity thriving. I don’t know about you, but having to stay in Port-au-Prince for long periods of time, I watched the city go from hellish to more hellish, all on a backdrop of garbage filled streets. Darkness and insecurity have turned the streets into a dangerous no-man land in many neighborhoods. After 10 PM, all traffic dies in the major streets, and persons barricade themselves inside their homes if they’re able to do it. In the distance, or sometimes too close for comfort, shots ring out for a short while, then the sound of a motorcycle riding fast.

All the while, the transition following the death of former de facto president Jovenel Moise in July remains the same old mess, while life is steadily getting worse for the average person living in Haiti. De facto Prime Minister Ariel Henry is also acting as president of the country, overstepping his job’s mandate, with the blessing of the Core Group of foreign ambassadors who have taken over running the country. Prime Minister Henry is gladly handling two budgets, presidency and prime ministry, keeping money flowing to friends and members of the clan, while following orders from the cabal. Make no mistake about it, the PM is not affiliated with any of the political parties, not even with the PHTK, even though he dutifully assigned all the important ministries to persons associated with the ruling party. Most of former de facto president Jovenel Moise’s people have been pushed out, even in the presidential palace. So, the Prime Minister is following a script drawn by those who are maintaining him in power.

The traditional political opposition has blown up into fragments, each group clinging to a respective accord, of which there are three, if not more, pitting them against each other. Militants who have been at the forefront of demonstrations during the fight against the regimes of Martelly and Moise are realizing that those politicians who spoke the loudest are now working with the system they claimed to fight against, getting per diem and getting jobs for the clan. Now the grass roots organization, along with militants who have always been the ones in the street are reorganizing themselves to mobilize the population, just today a demonstration is filling up the Delmas Highway. Led by former political prisoners like Babas and Kilik, the group is mobilized against the government and the way persons are suffering in the prisons. Those militants and others like them will need to come together and take up the leadership of the struggle because they cannot count on politicians who are ready to switch camp anytime they get a better offer.

In Gonaives, persons are against any ceremony to commemorate Haiti’s Independence on a backdrop of poverty, with piles of garbage everywhere, which have turned the public square where all celebrations take place into a pigsty. Persons there look at the town and feel shame at being made to live like this. The Prime Minister is supposed to put on his fake, illegal president’s suit to make the traditional speech from the Head of State, but militants in the capital of Artibonite may create problems for the officials, while some of the gangs active in the region may demand money to let the delegation pass through their territory. It is a real shame that the government ignores the people of Gonaives all year, with no social services available, only to come on January first to say something foolish, make vague promises, and leave before dark.

Well, this is how 2021 is coming to an end. We really need to #netwayeAyiti2024 / #cleanupHaiti2024.

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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