Crisis in Haiti
Despite a proud history of overthrowing slavery and establishing the first Independent Black Republic, Haiti suffered centuries of crippling foreign debt and illegal occupation by foreign powers, followed by decades of brutal dictatorship and failed political leadership.
The fragile democracy received another blow in 2010, when a magnitude 7 earthquake killed an estimated 200,000 people and devastated the country’s infrastructure. The world promised to help Haiti recover. But eleven years on, another disaster looms. Political dysfunction, corruption and an epidemic of gang violence leave the country on the brink of dictatorship.
Crippling debt, foreign occupation, brutal dictatorial reign and devastating natural disaster have lead to an international crisis.
Gang violence and kidnapping have increased dramatically. It appears the gangs are cooperating with the government, attacking human rights defenders and people who oppose government policy.
The gangs of Port-au-Prince have formed an unprecedented alliance, parading triumphantly through the streets and now affecting the whole country.
They are responsible for a series of massacres, where dozens were slaughtered, including small children.
LAWLESSNESS AND HUNGER
In rural areas, people who subsist on smallholdings are attacked by gangs, their produce stolen. Many are now too scared to cultivate their crops, for fear of further attacks, and so they are going hungry.
The rule of law has broken down completely. Criminals responsible for violence, theft, kidnappings or massacres are not brought to justice.
Ordinary Haitians who protest peacefully against the lawlessness and violence are physically attacked. Human rights defenders are gunned down.
President Jovenel Moise was elected in 2017 and his term is due to end on the 7th of February 2021. Parliamentary elections that should have taken place in late 2019 were stalled. As a result, there has been no parliament since early 2020.
Since then, the President has installed people loyal to him in key positions of power. He is ruling by decree.
The international community has not intervened effectively to support the people of Haiti. This lack of action has allowed Haiti to slide into dictatorship.