Haitian Gangland: All about control

0
17
One of Haiti's most powerful gang leaders, Jimmy 'Barbecue' Cherizier presents himself as a revolutionary fighting a corrupt system [File: Matias Delacroix/AP Photo]

Dear Sir

The ongoing violence in Haiti has a foundation in various groups trying to control essential commodities such as oil, gas, kerosene and diesel. When a national or economic crisis happens, those who control the means of energy and food sources control the population.

Haiti has never been able to escape its exhaustion caused by continual natural and climatic disasters over the years. Unable to nationally and economically heal. Haiti had looked to the world for help, realizing that assistance from outsiders has a cost. Haiti’s natural resources and products fall into that category.

The population reeled at the assassination of Haiti’s president one year ago. There is no well-established government to name or rely upon. The gangs of Haiti are many, allied to certain governmental and political parties, these gangs are fighting over gas stations, and production facilities of anything energy-focused, all to gain control and profit from Haiti’s ongoing bad luck.

There are approximately 51 gangs in Haiti, some solely independent, others allied or controlled by various political identities all vying for regional and national political power. The days of Duvalier may have well returned.

Tyranny has a sound history here, and many Haitians seem to be willing to lose their democratic franchise to live in a somewhat peaceful community. Haiti’s dependence upon various energy sources placed its democracy in peril. The power grid collapses often, and most of the islands’ thermal generating plants rely upon imported fuel. Gangs have forced duties upon all items entering the island, even the fuel coming from charities and friendly nations.

Food goes bad and is now scarce. Power outages have many effects on the Haitian People. Factories have shut down. Grocers have shut down. Food supplies and homes continue to suffer. The security of various communities are in jeopardy as the police and emergency services resources worsen.

The gangs rule the night, and their influence is felt during the day. The gangs declare what they want – including the resignation of the president of Haiti.

So, criminality, uncertainty and multiple violent acts are inflicted upon ordinary Haitians. All this while, Haitian gangs sell fuel at $10.00 a liter, and the police are not able to express their authority without suffering and inflicting mass killings.

Fuel has been the heart of this conflict even before the blockades began. Haitians struggle to live in a land that seems ready to expel them. Mass exodus from Haiti has begun and will not halt any time soon.

Steven Kaszab

Bradford, Ontario

Note: Criminal charges unsealed against Haitian gang leaders for kidnappings of US citizens

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here