The past weeks have seen a marked increase in the frequency and intensity of clashes between rival armed gangs.
Social organizations in Haiti called for a general strike for two days Monday against the country´s social crisis and poverty.
Last week trade unions criticized the rampant reduction in the citizens’ purchasing power, after the local currency, the gourde, was depreciated against the dollar, and prices increased, as the country is facing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Special Representative and Head of the United Nations (U.N.) Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) Helen La Lime, warned on Friday the U.N. Security Council that the past weeks have seen a marked increase in the frequency and intensity of clashes between rival armed gangs that are vying to control greater swathes of territory in the most populous neighborhoods of the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area.
On the other hand, the Trade Union leader Olrich Jean-Pierre told during a press conference that people are alone while the administration has done nothing to alleviate the situation. Hence, the strikes also back the petition for President Jovenel Moïse to end his term in office.
President Moïse’s government has been widely criticized for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and a constitutional crisis that led to another strike in the judiciary system.
On June 18 Justice Jean Wilmer Morin, president of the National Association of Haitian Magistrates (ANAMAH), announced that his fellows had gone on strike to protest against the way the justice system is treated in terms of the budget that was assigned to them.
The judge strikes have also paralyzed the legal actions people and prolonged the uncertainty of thousands of prisoners as human rights groups are warning that hundreds of prisoners could be at risk of dying of COVID-19 as infections are quickly spreading inside the country’s prisons.
The country only has two testing centers, and although is the COVID-19 cases are increasing, Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe vowed for reopening the country that still has his borders and airports closed.
Haiti already surpassed the 5,000 COVID-19 despite health authorities declare on June 16 that the country has reached the pandemic’s peak.
[Photo – Port au Prince, Haiti – via Twitter @Jeapam]