The Spark

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

Haiti:
The Government Is Both Inspirer and Hostage of the Gangs

Apr 26, 2021

Translated from Lutte Ouvrière (Workers’ Struggle), the newspaper of the revolutionary workers’ group active in France.

On April 11, seven Catholic priests including two from France were kidnapped by an armed gang in the suburbs of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince.

The gang demanded one million dollars and threatened to assassinate the hostages if the ransom was not paid.

The media in France seemed to suddenly discover, and rage against, the existence of this type of brigandage in Haiti. But this kind of event is not new. The gang, called “400 Mawozo” (400 Losers), doesn’t stand alone. At least a hundred such gangs spread terror in the country, racking up brutal acts—rapes, assassinations, and kidnappings for ransom, not only of rich people but also of poor people who have nothing to give them.

The people are fed up with this terror and have expressed this again and again through demonstrations. On April 3, hundreds of women took to the streets of Port-au-Prince to denounce the violence of these gangs and the inability of President Jovenel Moïse’s government to put an end to these actions. It’s no surprise. For years, successive governments in Haiti have armed the bandits to suppress all opposition with terror and death and help them stay in power. And the leaders of the so-called democratic countries haven’t lifted a finger.