Chaos amid pandemic


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HAITI: There has been protests, violence, and kidnapping happening.

Christie Montrose, Staff Writer

Haiti was once known as (la Perle des Antilles) the pearl of the Antilles because of its natural beauty and riches. Haiti was the first slave colony to revolt against their slave masters and claimed their independence. They gained their independence in 1804 with the help of General Jean Jacques Dessalines and became the second independent nation in the Americas. But ever since then Haiti has faced a lot of difficulties. 

Haiti was forced to pay a large amount of money to France, a total amount of about 21 billion dollars. The country was left in poverty and became one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean.

On February 7, 2017, Jovenel Moise assumed office as the 58th president of Haiti. At first, everything was going well, but in 2018 protests broke out in cities throughout Haiti due to an increase in fuel prices. On July 7, 2018, Haitians protested the increase in taxes on gasoline, diesel, and kerosene prices. The government stopped the increase of taxes and backed down. 

Protests broke out again in February 2019 following economic problems and increased cost of living. Protesters demanded that President Jovenel Moise step down from the Presidency. They targeted President Jovenel’s home by throwing stones, burned down markets, popular stores, and participated in a prison break in the city of Aquin freeing all of the prisoners. “I will not leave the country in the hands of armed gangs and drug traffickers,” President Jovenel Moise said in a press release following the protests.

The protests continued into September 2020 with violence and crime all over the country. With the COVID-19 pandemic, people criticized the government for not providing enough help to cope with the virus and unemployment. 

Police officers in Haiti started protesting as well, demanding higher pay and good working conditions. Police officers were accused of being corrupted and not protecting the people of Haiti. 

On February 7, 2021, President Jovenel Moise’s terms were over but he refused to step down. People were very upset since they have been wanting President Jovenel to step down. Additional violence, murder, and kidnapping broke out in Haiti. Several people have been kidnapped for ransom money, some were sexually assaulted and killed, even after receiving the ransom money. 

Evelyne Sincere, a 22-year-old student, was one of the victims in the hands of kidnappers. According to The Haitian Times, Sincere was kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend, Joseph, and his friends after believing that her father had money. After suffering, sexually assaulted, and a demand for ransom from her family, Sincere’s body was found on top of trash in Port-au-Prince on November 1, 2020.

With everything going on in the world, like the pandemic, Haiti is not the only country going through a hard time. There are many protests going on in countries all over the world. According to The Washington Post, “The coronavirus era has heralded a profusion of protest movements.”