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Head of powerful Haiti crime syndicate wants to force prime minister’s resignation

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The leader of a powerful Haitian crime syndicate, Jimmy Chérizier, alias Barbecue, demanded Tuesday (26) the resignation of the prime minister, Ariel Henry, as a condition to allow the distribution of fuel in the country.

“Our demand is clear, pure, and simple. Our demand is the resignation of the prime minister, Ariel Henry,” said the G9 Fanmi e Alye (G9 and family) chief at a press conference, held at a time when Haiti is going through a severe fuel shortage caused by the action of armed gangs.

Read also: Check out our coverage on Haiti

The shortage has been increasing in the last few weeks due to attacks on transporters and has reached a critical moment in the previous few days due to the blocking of the streets leading to the fuel depots located in the port area of the capital.

Jimmy Chérizier, alias Barbecue. (Photo internet reproduction)
Jimmy Chérizier, alias Barbecue. (Photo internet reproduction)

The lack of fuel affects the operation of companies, public institutions, and hospitals since most of them use electric generators powered by oil derivatives.

Barbecue explained that he is asking for Henry’s resignation because his name has been cited in the investigation of the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, committed last July 7, since a few hours after the assassination, the current head of government spoke on the phone with one of the implicated.

The kingpin said that Haiti needs “that it is not 5% of the people who control 85% of the country’s wealth”.

“We do need a Haiti where there is not a small group of bums who for 25-30 years have been playing politics. I think the time has come for us, the youth, to take the destiny of the country in our hands,” he said.

Tuesday marks the second day of a three-day general strike called to protest fuel shortages and insecurity.

According to Unicef data, the fuel crisis has already forced the suspension of health care in 50 medical centers in the country, 15 of them in Port-au-Prince.

JIMMY CHÉRIZIER – G9 AND FAMILY

Former police officer Jimmy Chérizier, alias “Barbecue,” is Haiti’s most important gang leader. He is best known for establishing the “G9 and Family” (G9 a fanmi – G9), a criminal federation of nine of the strongest gangs in Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince.

Chérizier has collaborated with the ruling Haitian Tèt Kale Party (Parti Haïtien Tèt Kale – PHTK) and police. But more recently, he posed challenges to the Haitian state, calling for a revolution in June 2021.

He is now positioning himself to take advantage of a power vacuum left by former President Jovenel Moïse’s assassination through an alliance with political elites formerly aligned with Moïse.

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