By Fr. Fred Charpentier, OMI, Mission Procurator in Haiti, with thanks to Bro. Richard Coté, OMI, Director, Oblate Foreign Missions
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Bro. Richard Coté is in constant contact with Oblate missionaries in Haiti, below is the latest communication he’s received with an eyewitnesses account of the increasingly dire situation in the island nation.)
“I just received this from Fr. Alfred Charpentier, OMI, Mission Procurator in Haiti:” – Bro. Ruchard Coté
“There is a growing and vocal popular opposition to the Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, calling him to step down. There is a serious border dispute between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The D.R. closed its borders militarily (air, sea, land) in protest. There is strong military presence in the Capitol (Port-au-Prince). Road blocks are being set up throughout the City to protect against gang attacks. Last night (Sept. 13) there was lots of shelling in strategic areas of the Capitol where gangs want to gain control. This situation is causing a mass exodus of people to our city of Les Cayes on the south coast, which is not ready for the influx etc.
The school year has officially opened September 11, but only in parts of the country where there is no violence or gang activity. About half of the school population cannot afford school costs at this time, even in safe areas, leaving a lot of kids out of school. With no employment, and an inflation rate of 50% . . . needless to say this is a “perfect storm”, a situation we are all worried about. The recent talks in the Capitol with a Caribbean delegation was unsuccessful. Too much talk . . .no action, no one wants to take the lead! This is a case where we desperately need the intercession of St. Jude.” (ed. patron of desperate situations)
- Fr. Fred Charpentier, OMI