It’s Not Just the Missionaries — There Were 782 Kidnappings in Haiti This Year

According to the White House’s daily briefings, President Joe Biden received updates on the 17 North American missionaries, children, and hostages in Haiti. Three FBI agents were also sent to Haiti by the U.S.

The kidnapping of two U.S. citizens and one Canadian citizen has caused some attention to the incident within U.S. media. But the wider context of widespread kidnappings throughout Haiti continues to go unnoticed in America.

At least 119 kidnappings have been reported in Haiti since October 1, which is the official total. According to the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights there have been at least 782 known kidnappingsSince January 2021, Haiti

Croix des Bouquets was the location of the kidnapping that resulted in the hostage situation in the United States. It is located 11 miles from Port-au-Prince. According to the Haitian Newspaper, which is based in New York, Haiti ObservateurOn October 16, the notorious Haitian gang Katsan Mawozo (4400 Mawozo), kidnapped more 30 people, including 17 American and Canadian missionaries, and children aged between 8 and 15 years, who were in Haiti to aid the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries. The gangs are asking for $17 million in U.S. dollars.

On October 17, G-9 Family and Allies, another armed gang, was established. drove offAriel Henry, the de facto prime minster, has prohibited him from commemorating Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines’ assassination. Dessalines was the first leader of independent Haiti and was assassinated October 17, 1806. This gang was able to prevent the prime minister from entering the Pont Rouge area for the ceremony. It is a sign that gangs are growing stronger and expanding their control over the country. Haitian people continue to live in fear and misery. Emperor Dessalines should be turning in his grave.

Americans are being kidnapped in Haiti now that we’re hearing about a long-standing issue that has plagued Haiti. highest rateThe world’s highest rate of kidnapping per capita. American and Canadian lives matter. Yet, thousands of Haitians continue to be tortured and killed, raped and extorted daily. Nearly 95 percentSince 2018, Haitian citizens are the targets of kidnappings..As a representative of Christian Aid Ministries stated, “This time of difficulty reminds us of the ongoing suffering of millions of Haitians. While our workers chose to serve in Haiti, our Haitian friends endure crisis after crisis, continual violence, and economic hardship.”

A popular Haitian film, Kidnappings(2008) shows the complexity and nuance in the kidnapping industry in Haiti. The rise of kidnappings was believed to have started under former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide (early 2000s). armed people in the slums as a way to protect himself because he didn’t have enough police. The great majority of the people who align themselves with Aristide — known as chimè — lived in Cité Soleil, a commune of Port-au-Prince.

Political parties, political leaders, the political elite, and the business class have been encouraging the gangs, and fomenting the kidnapping epidemic. The international community and the political and business elites are able to support the kidnapping industry, while the interests and needs of the vast majority of Haitians cannot be ignored. Now the gangs cannot be tamed?They are everywhere. To function, gangs require ammunition, weapons, ransom money and ransom money. All these resources flow through international channels, it is clear.

But the gangs are now managing those who originally commissioned them and controlled them. If the powers that be — both in Haiti and in the international community, including the United States — really want the kidnappings to stop, they have the ability to leverage banks and arms experts to make it harder for the gangs to continue their kidnapping business.

Sources have indicated that there are about 500,000Illegal guns in Haiti

There are so many guns, in fact, that there are too many. swaps between Haitian gangs and Jamaican gangs. The kidnapping trade is made easier by the large number of illegal firearms in Haiti. But Haiti doesn’t produce guns. Where do the guns come from? Who allows them in the country? Who benefits from their presence in the country? The International Arms Trade Treaty was signed by Haiti in 2014. It is not clear how it is being respected. Despite the U.S. arms embargo that requires that all firearms intended to be sent to Haiti must pass through the U.S. State Department it is still in effect. still easy to import guns to HaitiThis is partly due to the weak police force, corruption of business and political elites.

Until there is a real conversation about the deep inequalities that mark Haitian society and if sustainable change is enacted the kidnapping business will not stop. The gang violence in Haiti cannot be discussed without considering its historical, geopolitical, and social context. We should also investigate the role of the police in Haiti and the criminal justice system. The police are not respected or trustedA majority of Haitians. It is estimated that over 70 percent of Haiti’s prison population is in pretrial detention.

The practice of kidnapping does not exist in Haiti alone. Europeans spread kidnapping across the Americas. The same way that guns, cholera, and guns were imported to Haiti, gangs and kidnapping were also imported. Europeans traveled to Africa and kidnapped Africans to enslave them in the Americas. Prior to the arrival of the enslaved, Europeans kidnapped Native Americans (in the case of Haiti, the Taínos). Queen Anacaona, the ruler of the kingdom Xaragua in the early 16th Century, was taken by the Spanish under false pretenses. Toussaint Laouverture, a prominent leader of Haitian Revolution was kidnapped in June 1802 and taken to France by a ship called the “Louverture”. Le HérosHe was held in the Jura Mountains, where he died in 1803.

We could think of the U.S. occupation of Haiti (1915-1934) as a form of kidnapping — an abduction of Haitian freedom and the very notion of liberty. The U.S. Marines stole $500,000 from the Haitian National Bank, supposedly to keep it safe, but in reality, to protect U.S. assets, and prevent a German invasion. Smedley Butler, a career Marine, described the role he played in the occupation in the following terms: “[I was]I was a high-class muscle-man in Big Business, Wall Street, and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”

All of these are connected to kidnapping, power, and greed.

In 2004, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was the Haitian President. saidThe U.S. kidnapped him, and forced him to flee Haiti.

In 2010, Radio Prague International reportedAfter being kidnapped, a Czech humanitarian aid worker was released and a colleague was freed. It was October 2012 that the release of Clifford Brandt (a prominent Haitian family member) made headlines in Haitian newspapers. arrestedBecause he had kidnapped children from another bourgeois family.

Two Dominican filmmakers and two Haitian interpreters were killed in a car accident in February 2021. kidnappedHaiti. Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July, the number of kidnappings has increased. There have also been unconfirmed rumors circulating in Haiti that Moïse was supposed to be kidnapped and not assassinated by the mercenaries.

Two Haitian proverbs can speak to the kidnapping issue in Haiti: “Grangou nan vant pa dous” (Hunger in the belly is not an easy thing), and “Jou mwen leve a se li mwen wè” (The day I get up, that is the only day I can count on). To understand the gang problems in Haiti and the attendant issue with kidnapping, it is important to look at the context of structural violence and social inequality. Imagine a person without a job and unable to eat. This person is easy to manipulate because they are desperate to have these basic necessities. There are very few opportunities for youth. It is necessary to address the structural violence, including lack of education, access health care, and lack of food sovereignty. Many people are forced to participate in the economics of kidnapping because they have to. According to the 2020 report of the National Human Rights Defense Network (NHRN), some gang members are providing services that the state should be providingHelping others with food, education, and health care costs.

What are the solutions?

It is important to understand and deal with kidnapping in terms both of class relations as well as local power relations. All classes of Haitians must agree on the type of government they want. This government must be capable of holding elections democratically and fairly. It should also be able create a sustainable infrastructure where education, security and health care are its top priorities.

Haitians in Haiti, as well as diaspora Haitians, are working together to build a better Haiti. They’re calling it the “The Haiti Project”.(*) (Commission for Haitian Solution to the CrisisForum Société Civile Haïtienne. The group was formed by 13 members of different Haitian civil societies groups. The commission is composed of more than 300 local and regional organizations located in Haiti. They seek local strategies to address the ongoing political and social crisis in Haiti.This issue must also be considered in a geopolitical perspective, which includes colonial, neocolonial and post-colonial histories as much as neoliberal strategies. It is evident that foreign intervention in Haiti has only made the situation worse. It is a terrible combination of foreign troops, organized criminality, class inequalities and corruption. The so-called Core Group (made of ambassadors from Brazil and France, Germany, the United States, and representatives from the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and others) is a grave combination.

The narratives about Haiti as a failing state fail to take into account the many ways that the Haitian government and the international community have actively and continuously failed Haiti. This failure has contributed towards the neoliberal policy; structural violence, inequality; a dearth of infrastructures; as well as political, social, and economic instability that have led to ongoing social disruptions.

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