Haitian Gangland: All about control

Submitted by Steven Kaszab
Gang-related violence has displaced more than 19,000 Haitians in recent months, according to the UN – Source: Al Jazeera

The historic violence Haitians are experiencing today can find its foundation in various groups trying to control essential commodities such as oil, gas, kerosene and diesel. When a national or economic crisis happens, those who control the means of energy and food sources control the population. Haiti has never been able to escape its exhaustion caused by continual natural and climatic disasters over the years. Unable to nationally and economically heal, Haiti had looked to the world for help, realising that assistance from outsiders has a cost. Haiti’s natural resources and production fall into that category. 

The population reeled at the assassination of Haiti’s President about one year ago. There is no well-established government to name or rely upon. The Gangs of Haiti are many, allied to certain governmental and political parties, these gangs are fighting over gas stations, production facilities of anything energy focused, all in an effort to gain control and profit from Haiti’s on-going bad luck.

There are about 51 gangs in Haiti, some solely independent, others allied or controlled by various political identities all vying for regional and national political power. The days of Duvalier may have well returned.

Tyranny has a sound history here, and many Haitians seem to be willing to lose their democratic franchise in order to be able to live in a somewhat peaceful community. Haiti’s dependence upon the various energy sources placed their democracy in peril. The power grid collapses often, and most of the islands thermal generating plants rely upon imported fuel. Gangs have forced duties upon all items entering the island, even the fuel coming from charities and friendly nations. Food goes bad and is now scarce. Power outages have many effects upon the Haitian People. Factories, grocers, homes are shut down, food supplies are lost, the very security of the community is placed in jeopardy as the limited staff of police, emergency services are worn thin. The gangs rule the night, and their influence felt during the day. 

The gangs declared what they want. The President of Haiti to resign, but He is not willing to do so. So, criminality, uncertainty and multiple violent acts are inflicted upon ordinary Haitians. All this while, Haitian Gangs sell fuel at $10.00 a litre, and the police are not able to express their authority without suffering and inflicting mass killings. Fuel has been the heart of this conflict even before the blockades began. Haitians struggle to live in a land that seems ready to expel them. Mass exodus from Haiti has begun and will not halt any time soon.

42 thoughts on “Haitian Gangland: All about control

  1. I am very glad that our honourable government keeps the cost of living permanently high. This ensures that boat people from Haiti and other riffraff do not land and take up residence here. They would simply starve to death here.

  2. Problem ➡️ Reaction ➡️ Solution Paradigm

    Conspiracy Hypothesis and Gut Feel instinct point to USA CIA involvement in Guns and Drugs proliferation and Gang Warfare promotion to gain Power and Control

    USA is the biggest gang who want it all and took control of Global Banking

    There is a plethora of Anecdotal evidence to support this thesis :

    O 80s Crack explosion in South Central LA which spread to Black Communities and only became an issue when it crossed over into White Communities

    O 80s Iran Contra CIA Black Ops smuggling guns and drugs supporting revolutionary groups in Iran and Nicaragua

    O 70s CIA involvement in Jamaican Elections and Gang Warfare supporting Political Partisanship

    O 70s Flooding Black Communities in California with heroin to break up and kill off black community support for Black Panther Party

    O 70s 80s Al Qaeda database of CIA assets in Afghanistan

    This is against political background of 3 strikes laws to incarcerate black youths, Wars, Spring Revolutions, bringing down Soviet and Japanese economies, proliferation of drug cartels

    I could go on and on the full has never been told..

  3. Welcome to Barbados tomorrow, it will be here before you can blink an eye. ANARCHY has been slowly creaping in over the last 20+ years and the majority of the POPULACE is oblivious.


  4. @Wily,

    That is why I am so worried. A lot of people seem to be living in denial or have just given up.

    This recent spate if crime is indicative of an issue that has bloomed our of control.

    Unfortunately at this point it needs a very firm hand, which I do not expect.

    But it is more than that. Intent underpins actions. If the will is not there, nothing will be forthcoming.

    We all know that this crime business pays for a lot of people. It is systemic.

    • @Crusoe

      It requires more than a form hand, it calls for being incisive even if the measures are draconian. We have gone pass traditional.

    • @David, I consider your remarks as cliched non-speak, brother…. what exactly do you mean re “It requires more than a [firm] hand, it calls for being incisive even if the measures are draconian. We have gone pass traditional.”

      ** Gone past WHAT ‘traditional’ measures/punishments?

      ** WHAT ‘incisive & draconian’ legal or policing policies would you recommend to make a difference?

      As bluntly suggested by @Artax’s note re capital punishment in China … even that very draconian measure has not stopped the drug trade in that country nor for that matter in Singapore!

      it has never stopped murders anywhere either … and in Taliban country does chopping off the hands of thieves prevent theft or does stoning adulterers curtail sexual affairs!!!

      The issue in 2022 is NOT about more anything other than purposeful ACTION … plain and simple!

      There are clearly more than enough decisive laws on the books to allow legal investigation, surveillance, search, seizure and incarceration to root out the drug and gun trafficking so I am MORE than a bit bemused to read your note that ‘traditional’ methods and ‘more than a firm hand’ is needed.


    • @Dee Word

      Do you think adding 3 additional courts and increasing the fine for fire arms convictions is form enough for you? Do not engage in the usual rhetoric, please!

  5. @ David

    I agree the crime situation “requires more than a firm hand.”

    For example, drug trafficking is considered to be a very serious crime in China…… and is usually punishable by several years of imprisonment or the death penalty for both Chinese nationals and foreigners.

    Yet, many people are executed every year in China for committing drug related offences.
    One would believe such harsh penalties would deter persons from drug smuggling.

    • @Artax

      This solution to crime is one which has to be continually fought using relevant strategies both on the social and enforcement fronts.

    • @David, I am lost. I asked YOU to clarify your remarks about ‘draconian, incisive’ polices needed and YOU tell ME “Do not engage in the usual rhetoric, please!” HUH!

      You have just won BINGO… remember back in the day those cliched word salads we could expect whenever a speech was made … same here now applied to blogging!😎🤣

      Anyhow to answer your rhetorical … how could more fines improve anything … I said above that there are already more than adequate laws available … so if the authorities perceive that a heavier fine will do the trick then clearly their understanding of punishment methodologies is better than mine will ever be.

      But back to the start though … please explain what ‘draconian’ and ‘incisive’ measure you propose.

      I’ll start your ball rolling:

      ** the police need to investigate ‘untouchables’ purposefully
      ** they need to use all the available stealth tech (within the law) to surveille persons of interest
      ** they need to execute search warrants without fear or favor when they have unimpeachable evidence upon which to act
      ** they need to promptly arrest and charge all persons receiving weapons/drugs via Bim’s legal ports of entry and PURPOSEFULLY work with sending nation’s authorities to arrest the sender and get communications intercepts with their local contacts
      ** they need to work CONTINUALLY with coast guard/BDF to patrol and interdict entry along the coast
      ** they need to surveille and ‘harass’ KNOWN drug dons to find indictable evidence of their criminality

      Now that I have noted those basic “relevant strategies” which are NOT being done can you please add your new ‘draconian, incisive’ programs to the discussion so we can “holistically move forward along both … the social and enforcement fronts”!

      Just saying!😒😎👍I gone.

    • @Dee Word

      You question was answered.

      We need to change up the solution finding, we cannot implement the same old policies. How about declaring a state of emergency after 8pm and search based on suspicion by the BPS?

  6. We do not have to reach the same state as Haiti. A change in the mindset of a nation is needed. I believe that solving the issues that confront Barbados cannot be solved by tackling those who are at the very bottom of the crime pyramid, but by tackling those who are at the very top.

    There are issues that exist regardless of the administration in power (BLP or DLP) and they remain with us even after the administration changes. Lip service replaces the false promises written in a manifestos. We solve nothing but merely kick the can down the road or ignored as the island moves from one issue to a next one

    GIS, NIS, Auditor General Reports, proliferation of scams, slow delivery of justice, no integrity legislation, no sunshine law, nepotism, cronyism and unequal justice are issues that our nation continue to face regardless of the administration in power (BLP or DLP) . ‘Big crimes’ appear in the newspaper and then vanish like ‘Big Foot’ but the crimes of small and dangerous criminals seem to live in our newspaper forever.

    We prefer form over substance.
    Is the garrulous and PR seeking Mia a vast improvement over the taciturn or silent Froon?
    Are the past five years any improvement over the ‘lost decade’? I would agree that that COVID-19 would hamper any administration, but we have not seen any changes to a tourism dependent economy. If covid-23 comes along we are in a similar shape as we were in 2019.

    We focus on symptoms rather than the underlying malady; ineffective administrations that are interested in their own welfare and hardly think of nation building.

    Crime will always be with us, but just going after the small fish will not solve the problem. We devise a thousand ways to catch the small fish but ignore the whales and sharks that swim in our waters. Cleaning the heads of our big fishes will stem our rot. Give people hope and restore their confidence in our government and our legal processes.

    The current state of affairs in Haiti needs not be our destination; it needs not be even on our route; but if we continue to elect from a cast with “Papa Doc” and “Baby Doc”, then we will get there.

    • @David and @Theo …We never had and are truly not on any path that would embrace their mindset … so I agree and expand the statement to say we will NEVER reach the state of Haiti … certainly not in the next 100 years!

      We all know the history of that nation and there is absolutely no comparison to Bim.

      Haiti is absolutely not in our future … our HISTORIES are so markedly different: we simply do not have the legacy of rebellion and massive civil strife they have endured from generation to generation!

      And as anyone who has interacted over time with Haitians outside that nation would realize, they are as intelligent, determined and desirous of peaceful solutions as any of us!

      Perhaps – if we need to do this exercise – we can look to Jamaica and how political tribalization became a threat to democracy there with the introduction of guns … and the crime and drugs trafficking that merged to involve the political elite who were ‘untouchables’. Absolutely they tethered on the edge of anarchy (certainly in place like Tivoli Gardens and other ‘hoods’) !

      But even then we are still many steps away from that Jamaica experience …

      Our nation can NEVER reach a Haitian state of disrepair!

  7. In theory on paper hypothetically speaking, cracking down crime just requires just harsher policing,

    but in practice, in the streets, it leads to more killings with gangs shooting at cops and stockpiling even more guns than police for their armies
    in America they go after high wealth assets

  8. Very clear thinking Theo.

    The root problem of the drug trade, as ever, is money.

    But apparently those people are adept, via onecway or another, at escaping the limelight, far less prosecution.

    And this is all the more benusing as we all know who a few of the lieutenants are and indeed, who a couple of the big players are.

    And I would speculate, the foreign enforcements agencies know too.

    But there must be agreements between the various governments on how to treat these people.

    Why? Information? I do not know.

    • @Crusoe

      If there is money it means officials can be bought, same officials responsible for detecting. As always we focus on the enforcement side of things, how about preventative measures?

  9. An unequal justice system cannot solve crimes. All it does is provide an incentive to the small fish to strive to be large enough so that he too become an untouchable.

    Talk of a firm hand bothers me. A large shipment of arms were intercepted at the port, but the big fish, the gun runner remains unnamed; Meanwhile, we have high government officials telling us what they will do with the small fish if he/she is seen near a gun.

    Talk of a firm hand bothers me. Are we taking in code? We saw in the drug wars, how the tough laws were slanted so that similar crimes could carry different penalties. Barbados must not become a society where coded words are used to declare a war on one segment of the society. We will punish the foot soldiers and set the captains free.

  10. Lessons Learned/ Higher Wisdom says
    The War on Drugs was an EPIC FAIL
    it created
    mass incarceration
    police corruption
    and did not stop the drug flow

  11. Let me make one thing clear,
    I get no pleasure (in fact, it pains me) to recite the numerous and mounting failures of the current (Mia’s) ‘do and redo’ administration.

    Quite often, I have debated with myself on whether I should speak out or remain silent but the phrase ‘The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is that good men do nothing’ drives me to my keyboard.

  12. David,

    Unfortunately all monitoring and action is enforcement.

    How can one prevent criminals (this is not just foot soldiers as Theo worries but all), from their attempts?

    Education? Will only partially work. Border stops? Again, partial because of corruption plus a whole lot of coastline.

    Enforcement, including bank account seizures etc is still necessary.

    But the will must be there.

    • @Crusue

      Not dismissing enforcement, however a long term strategy is relevant to complement as part as the preventative, no?

  13. Yes, but HOW do you prevent?

    I say impossible unless you can secure the borders.

    Same way guns get in.

    And the joke is, if I live in a secluded area, and ask for a gun license, they will tell me NO.

    But every soldja fella out there can get a gun jus-so.

    Whuh I could do?

    All the regular citizens will hide at night.

    Something needs to be done.

    So the only prevention is locking off borders and putting much more security, including surveillance in place.

    Even if some people object.

    Wonder why they would object?

    • @Crusoe

      Preventing as it relates to promoting attitudinal change in the community, establishing community posts etc.

  14. Our BU commentators contradict themselves. As usual. On the one hand, they call Mia Mottley a dictator for life who knows every stone on the island and who commands every ant on the island. On the other hand, they talk about anarchy and chaos like on the other pepper islands. That somehow does not fit together.

    It is a fact that we need a certain amount of drug trafficking to cover the needs of our tourists. As good hosts, so to speak. Against any other form of illegal activity, our government acts with the utmost severity. It constantly tightens the penal laws, closes loopholes in the law and fills the prison to the top. How wunderful.

    We should finally stop talking everything down all the time. Compared to the rest of the world, we live in paradise. Thank you very much, great Supreme Leader!

    Tron, a humble patriot of the first hour of the New Republic

  15. @ David

    I’ve read where one contributor suggested a “locking off borders and putting much more security, including surveillance in place.”

    A good idea.

    However, I’ll ask you one simple question.

    What segment of the economy has unhindered access to coastal areas such as Pile Bay, Martin’s Bay, Oistins, Bridgetown, Paynes Bay, Speightstown and Six Mens?

  16. Correct on the coastline and boats.

    But can we with technology now, place survellience all around the coast, we already have webcams on certain beaches that anyone can access.

    Police webcams would presumably be of much better facility (night vision infra red)etc. 24 Hr monitoring would be required.

  17. Plenty of recommendations above, especially de Pedantic’s list. He is quite right, all basic and logical steps.

    The one thing that seems to have been missing all along had been WILL.

    Regarding which. The powers that be have not shown that will, yet you propose changing the attitudes of whole communities?

    Which should be easier of the two?

    Obviously, education on the effects of drugs is necessary, but the community issue is far deeper. Remember Dudus Coke?

    How do you really expect to counter that, where the drug lieutenant (they are not Dons, those fellows are in the shadows) runs the community?

    In this case, you have to break the chain via enforcement methods above.

    But…. WILL.

  18. Why We Thugs
    Why We Thugs / Ice Cube
    They give us guns and drugs
    Then wonder why in the fuck we thugs
    They wanna count the slugs
    Then come around here and fuck with us
    They give us guns and drugs
    Then wonder why in the fuck we thugs
    They wanna count the slugs
    Then come around here and fuck with us

    I’m from the land of the gang bang
    Since I was little, ain’t a god damn thang changed
    It’s the same ol same
    Bush run shit like Sadaam Hussien
    I cock and aim, clinically insane
    To deal with this bullshit day to day
    If I sell some yay or smoke some hay
    You bitches wanna throw me up in Pelican’s Bay
    Call me an animal up in the system
    But who’s the animal that built this prison
    Who’s the animal that invented lower living
    The projects, thank god for Russell Simmons
    Thank god for Sugarhill
    I’m putting a different kind of steel up to my grill
    Y’all know what it is, scared for your own kids
    How these ghetto niggas taken over showbiz

    They give us guns and drugs
    Then wonder why in the fuck we thugs
    They wanna count the slugs
    Then come around here and fuck with us (Uh huh)
    They give us guns and drugs
    Then wonder why in the fuck we thugs
    They wanna count the slugs
    Then come around here and fuck with us

    It’s Boyz in the Hood, it’s toys in the hood
    Y’all wanna know why there’s noise in the hood
    Cause there’s drugs in the hood, thugs in the hood
    Nigga killed a Crip and a Blood in the hood (For real)
    Cause when niggas get tribal
    It’s all about survival, nobody liable
    I got caught by Five-0
    Grandmama came to court with her bible
    But when the judge hit the gavel
    Now I’m too far from my family to travel
    I just came unraveled
    Socked the D.A. before I got gaffled
    Owned by C.A, State Property
    Just like the year fifteen fifty three
    Looking for me, a one-way ticket out
    Don’t understand, what’s so hard to figure out?

    They give us guns and drugs
    Then wonder why in the fuck we thugs
    They wanna count the slugs
    Then come around here and fuck with us (Uh huh)
    They give us guns and drugs
    Then wonder why in the fuck we thugs
    They wanna count the slugs
    Then come around here and fuck with us

    I can’t take the pressure
    Pulled the fo-fo up out the dresser
    Grabbed the weight up out the closet
    Po-po coming but I’m scared to toss it
    Y’all know what happened last time I lost it
    Can’t tell you niggas what the fuckin boss did
    D game got a nigga exhausted
    Gotta go for the plea bargain they offered
    Twenty years for what?
    Breaking these laws that’s so corrupt
    Taking these halls and fillin ’em up
    Some powder cake shit that’s about to erupt
    Ay y’all, I’m about to be stuck
    Until the year two thousand, what the fuck?
    In the hood, don’t press your luck
    Cause these motherfuckers will set you up, word up

    They give us guns and drugs
    Then wonder why in the fuck we thugs
    They wanna count the slugs
    Then come around here and fuck with us (Uh huh)
    They give us guns and drugs
    Then wonder why in the fuck we thugs
    They wanna count the slugs
    Then come around here and fuck with us

    Every hood’s the same
    Every hood’s the same
    Every hood’s the same
    Every hood’s the same
    Every hood’s the same, stop trippin on it

Leave a comment, join the discussion.