Mon | Dec 4, 2023

Jamaica suspends consular services in Haiti amid violent attack on compound

Published:Tuesday | June 13, 2023 | 1:08 PM
Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith. - File photo.

Gangsters in Haiti last night attacked and set ablaze sections of a compound on which Jamaica's consulate is housed amid ongoing violence in the French-speaking country's capital Port-Au-Prince.

Reports from Haitian media are that the attack was triggered by a purported land dispossession court judgment. 

Men, two of whom are said to be a bailiff and a justice of the peace, reportedly sought to enforce the order, which is believed to be illegitimate but were met with resistance. 

The compound's security guards were subsequently overpowered and disarmed by the men and the facilities were ransacked and painted with graffiti before sections were set on fire. 

Additional information from news outlet Haiti Libre is that more than 40 employees were held at gunpoint and subsequently prevented from leaving the compound before police arrived.  

Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith this morning announced in a social media post that consular services have been suspended as a result of the incident. 

“We are aware that the Sun Auto Dealership in Port-Au-Prince was ransacked and set afire by gangs last night. As the consulate of Jamaica was also on the compound, consular services are suspended indefinitely,” said Johnson Smith. 

“We have extended deep sympathies to our honorary consul, his family, and employees,” she added. 

The attack comes amid Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry's visit to Jamaica where he is attending crisis talks aimed at helping to determine how the country can rebuild from the latest rounds of political and economic turmoil.  

- Kimone Francis

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