OAS: Part of Blame for Haiti Security Crisis Lays with International Community

A woman shouts anti-government slogans during a protest organized by friends and relatives of Biana Velizaire, who was kidnapped and held for several days by gang members, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021.
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The Organization of American States (OAS) is pleading for urgency to continue working to increase security in Haiti and to begin the democratization process.

In a statement, the OAS said the institutional crisis that Haiti is currently experiencing is “a direct result of the actions taken by the country’s endogenous forces and by the international community.

“The last 20 years of the international community’s presence in Haiti has amounted to one of the worst and clearest failures implemented and executed within the framework of any international cooperation.

“This is not to blame the individuals who, with a vocation for service and altruism, worked as co-operators and made their best efforts, in some cases giving their lives, for Haiti. These persons deserve our greatest respect and remembrance,” the OAS said.

It said instead, this failure has to do with 20 years of erratic political strategy by an international community that was not capable of facilitating the construction of a single institution with the capacity to address the problems facing Haitians.

“After 20 years, not a single institution is stronger than it was before,” the OAS said, adding that it was under this umbrella provided by the international community that the criminal gangs that today lay siege to the country “fermented and germinated, even as the process of deinstitutionalization and political crisis that we see today grew and took shape.

“Then, seeing its failure, the international community left Haiti, leaving chaos, destruction, and violence behind. Right now, it is absurd to think that in this context of destruction, the Haitians, left completely alone, polarized, and with very few resources, would be able to rebuild or build the kind of security, deinstitutionalization, and development project that could enable its 12 million inhabitants to once again live in peaceful coexistence.

“Without resources, in a climate of violence, without technological capabilities, without financial accumulation, without any of that today, they want us to believe a completely endogenous Haitian solution could prosper. This is not so.”

The OAS said without the basic conditions of democracy and security, the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country is suffering from “the international community’s lack of ideas and real capacity, as well as from its own structural problems.

“We should be clear that what we are facing is, more or less, a failed State and a weak and vulnerable society.  The worst of all worlds: a weak State and a weak civil society.

It said bringing peace to the country demands “an absolutely critical step (and) there must be justice for the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse” who was gunned down at his private residence on July 7, 2021. No one has been officially charged in Haiti with his murder even though several former Colombian army officers have been held in connection with the assassination.

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