By Kim Lamberty
Haiti’s acting Foreign Minister, Jean Geneus, and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, met with the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, last week to discuss the crisis in Haiti.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing titled, Haiti at the Crossroads: Civil Society Responses for a Haitian-led Solution on Thursday, September 29. The speakers from Haiti were Vélina Élysée Charlier of Noupapdòmi, Mary Rosy Auguste Ducena from the National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH), and Alermy Piervilus, director of the Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations (POHDH). Former US ambassador to Haiti, Pamela White also testified.
On Wednesday, September 7, thousands of people mobilized throughout Haiti in demonstrations against the de facto government of Ariel Henry. Protests against the government have been growing as insecurity has gotten worse, and the economy continues to decline.
The United States Coast Guard is intercepting refugees from Haiti and Cuba and returning them back to their home countries in record numbers. As of August 12, 2022, the US Coast Guard had interdicted 6,812 Haitians since the current fiscal year began; over 4,000 Cubans have been intercepted as well.
The security crisis in Port-au-Prince continues to deteriorate. In July alone, nearly 500 people were killed when rival gangs warred in Cite Soleil. Armed groups control transportation routes into and out of the capital, extorting and kidnapping travelers.
The crisis of insecurity in Port au Prince is severe. In July alone nearly 500 people were killed when rival gangs warred in Cite Soleil. Armed groups control transportation routes into and out of the capital, and use this position to extort travelers and businesses, engage in kidnappings, and use extreme violence against those challenging their position.
Early in the morning of 14 August 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck southwest Haiti, killing 1200 people, injuring 12,000, and causing hospitals, schools and homes to collapse. Hundreds of thousands of people were in immediate need of humanitarian assistance, and many still are.
Haitian migrants were expelled at much higher rates than the nationals of other countries similarly situated during the twenty-seven months since Title 42 policies were first implemented. Haitians were at least 3X more likely to be expelled compared to nationals of almost all other countries, except for those who could, by agreement between the United States and Mexico, be expelled directly into Mexico. This pattern changed in June of this year, with a significant drop in the percentage of Haitians encountered being expelled, a trend that seems to be continuing into July.
Acting Prime Minister Ariel Henry and his “September 11th” coalition met with representatives of the Montana Accord last week to discuss how to end the country's political stalemate. The Montana Accord is a civil society-led transition proposal negotiated last year at the Montana Hotel that hundreds of national and local organizations have endorsed. A coalition of political parties referred to as the PEN joined the Montana group earlier this year. Close allies of Henry quickly assembled his September 11th coalition last year after the Montana proposal was announced.