"Cry of alarm of the Jesuits of Haiti "
Press release dated October 27, 2021, sent to AlterPresse
1. For more than three (3) years, the Jesuits of Haiti have not ceased to sound the alarm and to draw the attention of the international community to the vertiginous deterioration of the situation of the country, denouncing the totalitarian excesses of the late President, Mr. Jovenel Moïse, the hostagetaking of the country by a powerful mafia-like economic sector, the disrespect for life and for the fundamental rights of the human person, and the chronic misery in which the great majority of the Haitian population is languishing
2. Even today, less than four months after the heinous assassination of the president, a climate of terror has settled over most of the country. Around Port-au-Prince the noose is tightening more and more. The people of Port-au-Prince are on edge and feel that their lives are more than ever threatened. For three days now, a strike movement has been launched by unionists to say no to the ignominy. All sectors seem to adhere to this initiative to force the “authorities” to do something.
3. Kidnapping is raging. Priests, pastors, businessmen, professors, citizens of all conditions and social strata, but especially of the middle class, are kidnapped and held captive at any time. A group of 17 Americans and one Canadian are still in the hands of the kidnappers who are demanding $17 million USD in ransom. The kidnapped people are usually physically and sexually assaulted. Many are executed, even after a ransom is paid. The middle class is decapitalized and in debt.
4. In addition to the political and security crisis, there is a new crisis: the shortage of fuel. The terminals have been controlled by bandits for more than two months. The bandits, who rule the capital without mercy and have the power of life and death over the population, are preventing truckers from supplying the gas stations. Because of this problem, the National Ambulance Center (CAN) and many hospitals have already announced the cessation of their activities, thus auguring, in the middle of the pandemic, a humanitarian crisis without precedent in the country. Some basic supplies are already running out.
5. Young people and professionals who are able to do so are leaving the country by the hundreds. Some schools and universities, especially in the capital, are literally emptying. Many young people have returned to the provincial cities. Because of the insecurity and the fuel crisis, those who are in Port-au-Prince prefer to stay at home, waiting with weariness for a new day to dawn.
6. Faced with this situation, we invite all the living forces (the Churches, the University, the Youth, the Press, etc.) of the nation to a patriotic awakening in order to say no to the obnoxious. We ask the Haitian politicians to take a step back, to transcend to finally give the country a chance. We launch an urgent appeal to the Haitians of the diaspora, to the international community, to the socalled friendly countries, especially the United States of America, France, and Canada to put aside their petty interests and to take the true dimension of the Haitian drama in which they are actors. It is not possible to witness the demise of an entire people passively or cynically. What are we waiting for to come to the rescue of this martyred people and help put bandits and oligarchs out of action and demand that the de facto government assume its responsibilities by ceasing all connivance with the armed gangs!
7. The hour is grave, but we are confident that God will soon crown our resistance and struggle, transforming our opprobrium into a feast, turning our sorrows and tears into a dance!
Fr. Jean Denis SAINT-FÉLIX, S.J
Superior of the Jesuits for Haiti
October 27th, 2021