Former police officer Jimmy Chériziér, alias “Barbecue”, the fearsome leader of the armed gang brotherhood G-9 Fanmi e Alye, warned educational authorities and parents that avoid sending your children to classes for the opening of the school year in Haiti today.
The school calendar cycle takes off today in Haiti under a tense horizon of fear and uncertainty, an embarrassing test for the government that has already been warned of immediate reprisals by the guerrilla leader.
The decision to start teaching today, authorized by Prime Minister Ariel Henry, was released on the night of August 26 by the Minister of National Education and Vocational Training, Nesmy Manigat.
This opening to classes not only runs risks, but, according to an evaluation made by high-level officials, it is warned that the schools on the border with the Dominican Republic would be under serious threat from the gangs.
a little over a week ago“Barbecue” spoke openly and, as a preview of what could happen from today, date of the call to classes, issued an explicit warning to the population.
This is what he said: “We ask the Haitian people, starting Monday (October 3, back-to-school day), to avoid going out on the streets without a real need.”
Haiti has 15,200 primary schools, of which 90 percent are private. They are managed by communities, religious orders and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The enrollment percentage at this level is 88 percent.
Higher education is provided by universities and other public and private entities. International private schools run by Canada, France or the United States, and those run by churches educate 90 percent of students.
Last Friday, August 12, during a meeting at the Colegio Nacional Argentino Bellegarde, with the participation of more than a hundred officials from public and private schools, Security on school campuses was discussed.
There, the case related to the “intensification of clashes between armed groups” was specifically addressed, and it was warned that they are “strengthening their presence on the border lines that make up, more frequently, school sites.”
All this puts more tension on the turbulent political and social unrest in that country, keeping alive the conditions for the expansion of a crisis that is eating Haiti from the foundations.
What could happen in Haiti starting this Mondayamid the hustle and bustle of students in their schools, shows the degree of danger to which all segments of the population are exposed.
While “Barbecue” sows panic, thousands of Haitians are looking for ways to escape hunger and insecurity, making their way to the Dominican Republic.
The defiance of the gangs to the authorities, unable to stop the momentum of destruction and death of these groups, closes the escape routes even for the most innocent there: children, as well as adolescents and adults who, against all odds, they make silent resistance to savage violence, to carve out their future.
To the threat of “Barbecue”, which is still entrenched in the Varreux fuel terminal, about possible actions from today, parents’ doubts are added to the success of the school day.
During the last few weeks, parents of students warned that the terror imposed by the gangs, the shortage of oil derivatives, the high prices of tickets and unemployment are threatening factors for the school year.
some schools They have already announced that they will not teach.
The San Luis Gonzaga Institution, is one of these entities, establishes in a letter that “after consulting with the Saint-Louis community: parents, teachers, administrative and support staff, the direction of the Saint Louis de Gonzague Institution reported that we are not receiving students on October 3, 2022 and this until further notice.”
Forced by the increasingly critical shortage of fuels that deepens and compresses the economic dynamics in Haiti, the Professional Association of Banks (APB) decided to limit its commercial operations to three days a week, starting Monday. “The branches of the different banks that operate in the national territory they will receive customers at the doors, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, in order to be able to serve the community while the low fuel reserves of banking institutions allow it, ”indicates the entity in a press statement.
The newspaper Gazette Haiti reports that residents of the residential areas of the capital, Bellevue, Belle Ville and Vivy Mitchell, have been forced to take their own forms of protection from the gangs, before the inability of the police to protect their lives and property.
On Saturday, residents of those sectors blocked all access to the Vitelhomme gang. They had built a wall before, but it was torn down by armed bandits using a bulldozer.