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On his weekly program L’Economique on Magik9, economist Peterson Noël provided an
assessment of the Haitian economy for the past year, which was the year of negative records in
the economic history of the nation. It is the first time the country recorded negative growth for
four consecutive years; -1.7% in 2019, -3.3% in 2020, -1.8% in 2021 and -1.7% in 2022. In
addition to the myriad of socio-economic and political issues that have characterized the past
year, most remarkable has been the wave of kidnappings that effectively destroyed the middle
class. Kidnappings and deteriorating economic conditions resulted in forced migration of
thousands of Haitians to other countries where they feel safer. According to Mr. Noël, the
migratory phenomenon which began well before 2022 gained momentum with the assassination
of President Jovenel Moïse, and now, a good part of the country’s elite continues to leave the
country to destinations as the Dominican Republic (DR), the United States and Canada. The
decline in security, emigration, remittances from the Diaspora inflation, and economic growth
has negatively affected the Haitian economy and is responsible for economic decline not seen in
Mr. Noel pointed out that data from the central bank, BNH, shows that in 2022, remittances from
the Diaspora decreased between US$300m to US$400m, with further inquiry showing that
families that usually receive remittances from abroad, which in turn is circulated in the Haitian
economy now receive these remittances in the Dominican Republic, further reducing the number
of economic activities in the country. Put differently, remittances from the Diaspora that has
historically been used to finance import of Dominican goods into Haiti is now used as direct
investment into the Dominican economy. As stated in last week issue, 2022 was a record year for
inflation. According to IHSI data, year-on-year inflation reached 47.2% in October 2022.
Expenditure for food, which typically account for the bulk of an average Haitian family’s
income, was greatly affected by the high level of inflation. As a major consumer of rice, Haiti
imports most of this product and imported rice experienced monthly inflation of 11% and annual
inflation of 75.5% in October 2022. Milk increased by 52.8%, beans by 50.5%, import inflation
increased by 61.1% while inflation on local products increased by 39%. With such dismal
figures, increased focus on local agricultural production would promote a better cost of living for
most citizens. The blockade of the oil terminal in Varreux also negatively impacted the Haitian
economy. At the rate at which things are trending, it is likely that 2023 will not reverse these
trends unless politicians are able to act decisively. Addressing the current problem does not
require grand economic theories but rather political actors coming together to agree on finding a
solution to the economic crisis and offering new prospects for the country. According to Mr.
Noel, nothing will happen unless state actors set the tone and show the will to address economic
issues. Despite the political agreement signed with a few entities, the political machine is
struggling to function as an effective entity. More than two weeks after the announcement of the
upcoming installation of the High Transitional Council, nothing has been done, an indication of a
the dysfunction of the current political system.
Elsewhere, on Monday January 16, 2023, the highest judicial body, le Conseil Supérieur du
Pouvoir Judiciaire (CSPJ), published a list of thirty judges and government commissioners who
may not have been certified by the Technical Certification Commission (CTC). The decision
came after the CTC examined 69 files following a professional retreat held from January 11,
2023, through January 13, 2023. The retreat enabled the advisers and the technical secretary,
Jean Robert Constant, to rule on the 69 files sent by the Technical Certification Commission

(CTC) for the certification of magistrates, which included 31 certified magistrates and 28 non-
certified magistrates. The CTC also indicated that two other magistrates were not certified
following a regular certification session held on December 21, 2022. In total, the CSPJ pinned 30
judges for lack of moral integrity, abuse of authority, drunkenness, facilitating the release of
notorious criminals or insufficient academic qualification. The government commissioner at the
Port-au-Prince court of first instance, Jacques Lafontant, is among the non-certified
Among the non-certified judges are Me Roosevens Marcenat Desmornes, deputy judge at the
Gressier peace court as well as Jean Osner Petit-Papa, Ramoncite Accimé, Garry Orélien,¸
Ikenson Édumé, all judges and prosecutors at the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince, all
dismissed for much decried reason and lack of moral integrity. On the other hand, some
magistrates have received the blessing of the Superior Council of the Judiciary. Among them are
Merlan Belabre, judge and prosecutor at the Port-au-Prince Court of First Instance; Dufrène
Guillaume, judge at the Port-au-Prince Court of Appeal; Audain Michel, judge and prosecutor at
the court of first instance of Fort-Liberté and Marie Laurence Fils-Aimé, judge at the court of
first instance of Cap-Haitien. The uncertified magistrates will be excluded from the Haitian
judicial system.
Finally, the 16 th PapJazz Festival, Festival international de Jazz de Port-au-Prince (PapJazz)
will take place from Friday, January 20, 2023, through Sunday, January 22, 2023 in Cap-
Haïtien, due to security concerns in Port-au-Prince, according to the Haitian Jazz Foundation,
Fondation Haïti Jazz. More than seven stages will host artists from nine (9) countries including
Canada, Chili, Cuba, Spain, United States, France, Haiti, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.
The festival places Cap- Haitien in the spotlight, it will also pay homage to Toussaint
Louverture. There will be a diversified program including workshops, performances and
audiovisual presentations, among others. Those wondering why PapJazz and not CapJazz, it’s
because the latter already exists; it’s an initiative by a native jazz musician called Grafield
Hilaris, aka Choupi, who also teaches music at the Cemuchca school.
Dela Harlley

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