In Haiti, the giant fuel shortage, orchestrated by gangs, paralyzes the country

A fuel exhaustion on the scale of an entire country: for several weeks, Haiti has been paralyzed by a serious fuel shortage, which further complicates the daily life of a population already hard hit. The Caribbean country, in the grip of a serious political, economic and security crisis since the beginning of the year, and in particular since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July, had also suffered, in quick succession, a powerful earthquake that affected made several hundred thousand victims in August, then a hurricane.

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These scourges are aggravated by an explosion of criminality which makes Haitians live in fear of heinous kidnappings committed by armed gangs who enforce their law over the country, with complete impunity. According to the Center for Human Rights Analysis and Research (Cardh), gangs have committed more than 782 kidnappings for ransom since the start of the year. Sixteen American citizens and one Canadian, kidnapped on October 16, are still in the hands of the “400 Mawozo” group.

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Episodic fuel shortages are nothing new in Haiti. But it differs from the previous ones by its length and gravity. The country is dry, and in Port-au-Prince, the usual tumult has given way to silence. “Due to the insecurity, long before this problem of gasoline shortages, everyone tended to go home quickly. Around 5 p.m. the streets were empty, specifies Rosy Auguste Ducéna, program manager at the NGO National Network for the Defense of Human Rights. Now with this fuel problem the streets are quiet all day long. The very few people who circulate are those who have been able to obtain them at a very high price or who have reservations. “

State responsibility

The cause of this dramatic situation: gangs, again. And, in particular, a man, Jimmy Chérizier alias “Barbecue”. This former agent of the national police force is now at the head of the “G9 Fanmi e Alye”, a coalition of armed bands which has established a real blockade of the country’s oil terminals. The thugs hold the government to ransom and hold the population hostage: “They want money. We heard about the staggering sum of US $ 50 million [43,2 millions d’euros] to allow tankers to pass ”, s’indigne Mme Auguste Ducéna.

The fuel crisis also has a political dimension. Jimmy Chérizier calls for the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who came to power in July after the assassination of President Moïse. “The authorities mingled with the gangs to consolidate their power, but they turned against them. Now the whole country is gangsterized ”, denounces Rosy Auguste Ducéna.

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In Haiti, the giant fuel shortage, orchestrated by gangs, paralyzes the country

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