Monday, January 24

Jimmy Chérizier: The dreaded ‘Barbecue’ subjects Haiti to a dilemma: gasoline shortages or the resignation of the prime minister | International


'Barbecue', the leader of the G9 gang, raises his gun after giving a speech in Port-au-Prince on October 22.
‘Barbecue’, the leader of the G9 gang, raises his gun after giving a speech in Port-au-Prince on October 22.Matias Delacroix (AP)

Haiti lives in the middle of a strange silence. The general strike called by transporters and fuel shortages have reduced activity on the streets to a minimum and the usual bustle has been replaced by shortages and fear. Again, the image of the capital is that of deserted streets or people walking through the labyrinthine roads of the city trying to get basic products. Meanwhile, the gangs confirmed that they are keeping the national gasoline delivery service blocked at the Varreux terminal in Cité Soleil and the powerful Jimmy Cherisier, aliases Barbecue, demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry to lift the suffocation over the capital. Its strategy is already hitting basic infrastructures such as cell phones or the precarious network of hospitals that is about to stop working even in primary care.

“The areas under the control of the G9 are blocked for a single reason: we demand the resignation of Ariel Henry,” said this Monday in an interview on Radio Mega the leader of the G9 gang coalition that controls the metropolitan area of ​​the capital. Barbecue He said he will allow the safe passage of fuel trucks if Henry leaves office. “If Ariel Henry resigns at 8:00 am, at 8:05 am we will unblock the road and all trucks will be able to pick up fuel,” said the most powerful mafia leader in the country.

“Prime Minister Ariel Henry must respond to demands for justice. He must respond because he spoke with Joseph Badio Felix on the day Moïse was assassinated, “he said, referring to the one who is considered by the Judicial Police as the mastermind behind the assassination. “We are having a political battle. We are an armed political group ”, he warned.

His statements confirm how gangs have assumed an increasingly political role following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July. Barbecue he has said that Henry must “answer the questions” that link him to the president’s assassination. Precisely Prime Minister Henry was denounced by Moïse’s widow as part of the murder, although he has denied any involvement. “After his resignation, we will participate in the security of the country, starting with our areas. No one will be able to kidnap in our neighborhoods, “he said in the interview.

A protester sets fire to a wheel to protest the lack of fuel in Port-au-Prince on Monday.
A protester sets fire to a wheel to protest the lack of fuel in Port-au-Prince on Monday.RALPH TEDY EROL (Reuters)

Days of fuel shortages have left Haitians with few transportation options and forced the closure of some businesses. Hospitals, which rely on diesel generators to guarantee electricity due to constant blackouts, could also close in the next few hours. The situation has added more tension and problems to a population struggling to cope in a context of insecurity that reached its peak last week after the kidnapping of a group of 16 American missionaries, a Canadian and their Haitian driver.

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The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said on Sunday that it had negotiated fuel deliveries to Haitian hospitals, but that the supplier refused to make the deliveries, citing security conditions. Meanwhile, there are many voices that demand the creation of a safety corridor that guarantees in some way that gasoline can begin to circulate. Lives are likely to be lost if fuel deliveries do not reach hospitals immediately, the acting UN humanitarian coordinator in the country, Pierre Honnorat, warned on Sunday in a statement.

“The country goes a little lower every day. It took me almost two hours to walk to work and we will have to close if the gasoline does not arrive soon. The air conditioning has stopped working and we are managing the energy for basic medical interventions, ”said a nurse from a clinic in the Petion Ville neighborhood on Tuesday.

Despite the current strangulation, the country currently has 150,000 barrels of diesel and 50,000 barrels of gasoline in different blocked terminals. The association of private hospitals in Haiti, which provides more than 70% of emergency and hospital care to the population, has launched “a cry of alarm to the government,” signaling a “dramatic situation.” A total of 100,000 barrels of diesel and gasoline would supply Haiti’s fuel needs for five to seven days, said Marc Andre Deriphonse, director of the country’s gas station owners association, ANAPROSS.

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