The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The Population under Gang Terror

Jan 15, 2024

This article is translated from the December 30, 2023, issue, #1318 of Combat Ouvrier (Workers Fight), the paper of comrades in Guadeloupe and Martinique, two islands that are French overseas departments in the Caribbean.

As the year draws to a close, there’s no let-up in the war between armed gangs. And the population of working-class neighborhoods is the victim of this terror.

At the southern exit of the capital, traffic to the southern departments of the country is banned, and the police have clashed with the gangs that control this area, resulting in dozens of deaths among the local population.

In the city center, the rare vans that dare to transport merchants are held to ransom and drive at their own risk. Business is reduced as gangs fight to control traffic on the main roads, especially to the airport.

In the north of the capital last week, the "400 Mawozo" gang, which controls the area leading to the border with Santo Domingo, led a punitive expedition against a neighborhood where two of its members had been intercepted and neutralized by the local population.

The few workers on the industrial estate are on vacation at the end of the year, and at this time of year, they used to travel to the provinces to visit their families. This year, it’s impossible again, as gangs control the roads, and if they’re willing to risk the trip, the cost of transport has risen so much that their meager wages no longer allow it.

In some of Pétionville’s chic restaurants, a few musical groups tried to create an illusion with shows for the bourgeoisie or to attract young people. Churches and other denominations called for religious demonstrations, but to no avail.

Armed gangs are disrupting food production and transport, severely affecting Haiti’s main granaries. Half the population is now food insecure, exceeding the levels seen after the 2010 earthquake. The policies of the government, the police, the political class, the U.N., and the embassies of Haiti’s so-called friends are showing their impotence.

The gangs are waging war on the poor, who are waiting for an opportunity to strike back, as they did sporadically a few months ago. A rehearsal as a prelude to a general mobilization of the exploited masses would be the best solution. But this presupposes not only organization but also the politics of the poor masses, independent of bourgeois parties and crooked politicians.