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On the eve of the 35th anniversary of the 1987 Constitution, organizations representing diverse sectors of society and the body politic decided to call for a day of demonstration and protest the insecurity in the country, especially the increasing kidnappings that has further crippled all, social and commercial activities. For fear of any eventuality, most schools decided to close their doors on Tuesday in order not to endanger the lives of their students and staff.  At the same time, most employers’ associations, trade unions and socio-professional organizations across the country have signed a petition to express their disgust and anger at the way criminal organizations and gangs have been able to freely control and hold the entire nation hostage, while the authorities who have the moral duty to protect the citizenry stand idle by, and do nothing. The petition involves a laundry list of issues facing the nation, from the underfunded and ineffectual national police force to the counterfeiting and drug trafficking that is increasing with alacrity. The petition stressed that the group is made of a non-partisan citizens overwhelmed with criminal activities; such as murder, kidnapping for ransom, rape, armed robbery and organized lootings that continue to proliferate as businesses close, families living with lumps in their throats as everyone awaits to see who is next. 

The Director of the Human Rights network, RNDDH, Pierre Espérance has alleged that members of the Prime Ministers ‘s cabinet are believed to be involved in the release of gang members of the 400 Mawozo gang, which operates in Croix-des-Bouquets. On a radio talk show Tichèzba, in the capital, Port-au-Prince, RNDDH stated that high ranking officials in the Croix-des-Bouquets jurisdiction and who are part of the Ariel administration intervened to secure the release of a dozen or more gang members arrested and detained during police operations in January and February of this year. These officials, were able to secure a truce in the area during the gang takeover are also planning on representing the area in the potentially upcoming elections. The human rights network deplores the way such interventions are taking place when during a speech on March 18, interim Prime Minister Ariel Henry took issue with any suggestion of connivance or protection of his government with the armed bandits. The Prime Minister   shunned 2 separate invitations to appear before the remaining third of the Senate to discuss the matter and says to have reached out to all his compatriots, who want to see Haiti emerge from the current crisis. He further stated that he is available to engage all political actors, with the aim of building a broad consensus on fundamental issues for the future of the country. 

Be that as it may, the network plans to continue to speak out against the increase in criminality and the deterioration of the overall security situation, since Ariel Henry came to office on July 20, 2021, following the assassination, of the former President, Jovenel Moïse. The group stated that there were 13 massacres under the presidency of Jovenel Moïse, but under the current regime, armed groups have been coming out of their strongholds and seeking to occupy more space, openly and brazenly. This situation would be maintained by the regime of the Haitian Party tèt kale (Phtk) to guarantee continuity in power. The Director, Pierre Espérance also took the opportunity to speak out against former president and leader of tèt kale, Michel Martelly who set in motion an assassination plan against the RNDDH leader, when, according to M. Espérance, the former president at a meeting told the gathering that the best birthday gift they can offer him will be to assassinate the human rights network leader. 

Finally, in breaking news, the demonstrations across the nation took a rather pathetic turn when protesters invaded the Antoine Simon airport in Cayes, where they set fire to an airplane sitting on the tarmac. It was further determined that the small craft was one of many involved in transporting aid to victims of the August 14, 2021, earthquake. In the process of getting the airport under control, the security forces were called in and many people were wounded in the process, and one casualty of bullet wounds. 

Dela Harlley

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