February 6, 2023

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In Haiti, a massive fuel shortage planned by gangs is crippling the country

An entire country-wide fuel shortage: For weeks, Haiti has been paralyzed by severe fuel shortages, further complicating the daily lives of people already severely affected. The Caribbean country has been in the grip of a severe political, economic and security crisis since the beginning of this year, particularly since the assassination of President Jovnell Moyes in July. A powerful earthquake in August killed millions of people. Then a hurricane.

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These scourges are exacerbated by the outbreak of crime, which leaves Haitians living in complete fear of brutal abductions by armed gangs who enforce their law on the country without full punishment. According to the Center for Human Rights Analysis and Research (Cardh), gangs have carried out more than 782 kidnappings for ransom since the beginning of this year. Sixteen U.S. citizens and a Canadian abducted on October 16 are still in the hands of the “400 Maoist” group.

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Episodic fuel shortages are not new in Haiti. But it differs from the previous ones by its length and gravity. The country is drying up, in Port-au-Prince, the usual shouting led to silence. “Because of the insecurity, long before this petrol shortage problem, everyone was rushing home quickly. By 5pm the streets were empty. Rosie Auguste Ducena, project manager at the NGO National Network for the Defense of Human Rights, said. Now the streets are quiet all day because of this fuel problem. Those in circulation are the ones who can get or stock them at the lowest price. “

State responsibility

The reason for this dramatic situation: gangs, again. And, in particular, the “barbecue” of a man, Jimmy Sericier. This former agent of the National Police Force is now the head of “G9 Fanmi e Alye”, a coalition of armed groups that established a real siege on the country’s oil terminals. The thugs hold the government hostage to rescue the people: “They need money. We heard about the staggering $ 50 million [43,2 millions d’euros] Tankers must be allowed to pass ”, s’indigne MMe Auguste Ducena.

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The fuel crisis also has a political dimension. Jimmy Cerricier called for his resignation Prime Minister Ariel Henry came to power in July after the assassination of President Moyes. “The authorities joined the gangs to consolidate their power, but they turned against them. Now the whole country is occupied by gangs of thugs,” he said. Rosy scolds Auguste Ducéna.

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