The violence that rocked the country in last couple of months has seen a drastic drop since
people began what is dubbed Bwa Kale, or vigilante justice, started by ordinary citizens who felt
overrun by the violent armed gangs with little to no help nor protection from the security forces
and the government. According to data from the center for human rights research and analysis,
Centre d’analyse et de recherche en droits humains (CARDH), people have taken the law into
their own hands and have hunted down approximately 160 alleged gang members, lynching
some and burning others alive. These extreme vigilante actions have resulted in significant drops
in cases of kidnapping and gang violence. According to several reports at least 160 alleged
bandits were hunted down, lynched, and burned alive. Overall, there have been 134 alleged gang
members killed in the West Department while nine (9) were killed in the Artibonite region, five
(5) in the Central Plateau and one (1) from unknown origin The number of killing in the other
Departments are one 91) in the Southeast, nine 99) in the Grand Anse and one (1) in the North.
At least 45 alleged gang members have been killed in Debussy and 14 others in Canapé Vert, in
front of the police precinct on April 24, 2023. Pacot saw nine (9) while two others perished near
l’École Saint-Louis Roi de France, and another at the Martin Luther King Avenue, near
Unibank. The human rights research group said that almost no kidnappings had been recorded
last month and counted 43 gang related killings, down from 146 in the first three weeks of April.
Despite the drastic reduction in violence, almost 60 percent of the nation’s capital is still under
the control of the heavily armed gangs who are getting bolder with sophisticated weapons,
clearly outgunning the national police. The human rights research groups also spoke on the level
of violence meted out victims, especially women who are kidnapped, violently raped and in
certain instances the rape is filmed and broadcasted on social media. The group fears that if Bwa
Kale movement is not controlled and supervised for lasting security, the gangs might escalate
their violence, especially when they feel under siege, causing more horror to the population than
is currently the case.
In other news, the human rights organization Fondasyon je klere (FJKL) calls for urgent
measures to restore the moral authority of the prosecutor’s office at the Port-au-Prince civil court,
for the sake of justice. FJKL urges the incoming prosecutor, Me. Jean Elder Guillaume, who was
sworn in on Friday, May 26, 2023, by the interim Dean of the Court of First Instance of Port-au-
Prince, Chavannes Étienne, to take all measures so that the public prosecutor’s office which has
fallen to disrepute over the years ceases to be a stronghold of racketeers. This appeal follows the
replacement of interim prosecutor, Jacques Lafontant, who was one of 28 magistrates who have
not been certified by the Superior Council of the Judiciary, le Conseil supérieur du pouvoir
judiciaire (CSPJ) since January 16, 2023, for lack of moral integrity, among other things.
FJKL’s appeal comes after unidentified individuals again robbed the prosecutor’s office on the
night of Wednesday, May 24, 2023, and made away with four (4) 9mm caliber firearms. The
FJKL asks the incoming prosecutor to take measures so that the perpetrators and accomplices of
the latest burglary of the prosecutor’s office are identified, prosecuted, and punished, in
accordance with the law. FJKL ask the concerned authorities to put an end to the practice of
selling warrants to bring to the court in Port-au-Prince, by prohibiting the issuance of warrants to
bring by prosecutors, except in cases of in flagrante delicto, in accordance with the provisions of
article 22 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CIC). The group also calls for prohibiting
prosecutors from intervening in cases pending in the investigating offices, by strictly limiting the
actions of prosecutors to acts of prosecution and put an end to the arbitrary practice of granting
rogatory commission or delegation of power to the police for acts that fall strictly within the
criminal investigation. It is also necessary to respect limits of the territorial competence of the
jurisdiction of Port-au-Prince and to create, in concert with the dean, under the joint authority of
the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MISP) and the CSPJ, a technical unit for the secure
management of the corpus delicti, to put an end to the recurring scandal of suspicious
disappearances of bodies of victims of crime.
Elsewhere, the National organization of Haitian Workers, La Coordination nationale des
ouvrières et ouvriers haïtiens (CNOHA) denounced acts of repression, by the National Police of
Haiti (PNH) against workers, during their protest match to demand 2,500 gourdes as the
minimum daily wage. Last week, the police shot rubber bullets and threw tear gas at workers
demonstrating through the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince. The workers who have
weathered the harsh treatment from the police vow to continue to stress their demands and may
escalate the strike action further if the government does not come to address the issue or listen to
their demands. The de facto prime minister Ariel Henry’s government shows no desire to adjust
the wages of workers, in a context marked by inflation of more than 50%; the general
coordinator of the CNOHA, Dominique Saint-Éloi criticized the governmental inaction. In
addition, the prices of essential consumer products have been soaring for several months on the
national market. The CNOHA asks the State to guarantee security across the country so that
workers can go to work in peace. They further denounce supervisors, managers, and human
resources managers, who sexually harass women working in factories.
Between May 1 and 23, 2023, several hundred workers demonstrated on several
occasions in the capital, Port-au-Prince, to demand wage adjustments, better working conditions,
as well as permanent social support, which should be included in the budget for the upcoming
fiscal year 2023-2024.
Finally, Livres en folie has named Prosper Avril, former Lieutenant-General of the Armed Forces
of Haiti, (Fad’H) and de facto President of the Republic from September 17, 1988, to March 10,
1990, as Guest of Honor for its 29 th edition on Thursday, June 8, 2023, at the Karibe convention
center. Livres en Folie said the invitation is in the spirit of accommodating all voices, and also
that Prosper Avril has been an author who has signed his works with Livres en folie since 1997,
like hundreds of other authors have been able to do so since 1995. Livres en folie said they have
never censored an author since their genesis.
Announcing the choice of Avril, Max Chauvet, director of Le Nouvelliste said that it is in
his capacity as author of some twenty books that Livres en folie welcomes Prosper Avril.
Furthermore, Mr. Avril is a man with experience who has been sharing his opinions and his
version of events with the public since 1993 («Verités et Révélations I – Le Silence rompu», Port-
au-Prince, 1993), and coming at this crucial moment in the nation’s history, there’s some
resonance between his works and the current period marked by insecurity and violence.