Politics

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Gang Violence Surges in Port-au-Prince

  • Posted on: 1 June 2022
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Gangs in Port au Prince thrive when there is an absence of governance, no rule of law, and economic stagnation.  The UN has described current levels of gang violence as unprecedented and affecting all aspects of life - for example, 11 medical centers and 442 schools have closed.  National roads connecting Port-au-Prince to the rest of the country are dangerous, limiting the movement of people and goods.  While the security situation continues to deteriorate Haiti's developmental issues remain unaddressed - environmental degradation, lack of infrastructure and investment, poor basic services, and unrelenting brain drain.  Security is not enough to address these underlying problems but it is a prerequisite - and the gangs will not give up territory willingly. The full CNN article follows. 

Haiti Give the IMF A Fresh Lesson in the Value of Subsidies for the Poor

  • Posted on: 21 July 2018
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

At the insistence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Haitian government had agreed to cut government subsidies on fuel which would have caused prices to increase by over half.  Life is expensive enough in Haiti due to a lack of economic growth and dependency on imports.  To reduce subsidies would have made life even costly when many struggle just to get by.  The situation was very tense but has since calmed.  Still, the IMF has yet again hurt Haiti by failing to promote policies that are pro-poor.  The full article by Time journalist Billy Perrigo follows.  

Violent Crime in Haiti: Reality vs. Perception

  • Posted on: 18 November 2011
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

While fragile politically, Haiti is much safer than media coverage suggests.  Any violent crime mainly takes place in Port au Prince.  Even there, homicide rates are decreasing (now at 3 per 100,000 people in three selected areas) vs. 52 per 100,000 people in Jamaica, generally viewed as a favorable tourism destination.  Even Costa Rica has a higher rate than Haiti at 11 homicides per 100,000 people.  Below is an article by Trenton Daniel on the decreasing homicide rate in Haiti's largest city.  To court investment and tourism, Haiti needs to rebrand itself as historically, culturally, and artisticly rich as well as safe.