Haitian gangs agree to a truce to allow aid distribution

Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier

Last Sunday, Haiti’s main armed gangs agreed to a truce to allow the distribution of humanitarian aid to the thousands of people affected by the earthquake, which has left at least 2,207 dead and over 12,000 injured so far.

“Congratulations to us because at this moment we have decided to make peace,” said former police officer Jimmy Cherizier (aka Barbecue), the leader of “G9 an Fanmi e Alye”, the country’s most important federation of armed gangs.

Besides asking for the collaboration of all Haitians, he thanked the gangs controlling the Martissant neighborhood for letting the humanitarian aid convoys pass from Port-au-Prince to Les Cayes.

In the past week, insecurity was one of the main complications in getting aid to the southwestern peninsula of Haiti, where some 650,000 people need urgent help. Manuel Alba, the coordinator in Haiti of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), said that insecurity remains although “a kind of negotiation” to decree a truce seems in process. Authorities, however, have not confirmed an agreement with the armed gangs so far.

The tweet reads, “230 years ago, on the night of August 22, 1791, a week after the Bois-Caiman ceremony, the slave’s general uprising began in Haiti. This event is a major fact in Haitian and world history.

That truce “is like negotiating with the devil. It is complicated,” Alba warned, adding that the situation in Haiti is so precarious that many people have been involved in looting humanitarian aid trucks.

The World Food Program (WFP) Director in Haiti Pierre Honorat said that the situation of insecurity may interrupt the assistance provided by his institution to the vulnerable population. “We are talking with the authorities and all the actors involved to avoid it,” he said.

Not all aid deliveries, however, are troublesome. On Monday, for example, agronomist Yvone Alcegarie delivered 700 food packages from a private donation to a hotel near Les Cayes airport.

The Police stationed twelve agents to guard the operation at that site, where the affected families received water, rice, oil, beans, and diapers.