Wed | Feb 8, 2023

Letter of the Day | Why are we silent on Haiti?

Published:Friday | December 9, 2022 | 12:32 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

While I pen this letter on Haiti, I can’t help but wonder about what is happening there, in our own backyard, and the deafening silence that prevails.

What is happening in Haiti is no different than in the Bible days in the book of Judges, where anarchy reigned, and everyone did their own thing, hence the story of the ‘Man and his concubine’ in Judges (19).

The story ended by saying that no such thing was ever recorded again since the children of Israel came out of the land of Egypt.

In Port-au-Prince alone there are around 95 gangs operating, some of them being formed by the police. Businesses are being shuttered, and investors are moving out of the country in droves, contributing to joblessness and hunger.

Civilians are being killed, and women being raped. A story is told of gang members entering a home where a young man was hiding under the bed, and when he ran out to seek safety, he was be run down by members of the gang and shot in cold blood.

Another tale is told by a man who was hiding once again under his bed when the men came a-calling, While under the bed his wife was gang-raped, and he stayed helpless to help her. She is now pregnant not knowing who the father is.

Haiti is back to where François ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier and the Tonton Macoute ruled.

Only this time it is worse as nobody seems to be in charge, and there seems to be no Government in place to curb this violence, which has simply got out of hand.

What is not clear to me is why we have not heard from the US, CARICOM, and the United Nations? We have not heard from any neighbouring country, including Jamaica.

Prime Minister Holness has gone to Washington to discuss the state of the crime in Jamaica and guns entering the island. Is Haiti on the agenda for this meeting?

Jamaica may be facing an exodus of people from Haiti into Jamaica, and that we could be impacted by what is happening there.

Let us not turn a blind eye at what is happening there, but come with one voice and cry out, so that the powers that be will turn their attention to Haiti, and not only to what is happening in Ukraine.

Our brothers and sisters in Haiti are humans, too. Pray for Haiti, and not only concern ourselves with Jamaica. Let us be our brothers’ keeper.

CYNTHIA BURTON

cynthiacburton@hotmail.com