Haiti: absurd and meaningless violence

June 20, 2019 — The Provincial of the Jesuit Province of Haiti, Jean Denis Saint-Félix, SJ, reported last week on the situation in the country, where demonstrators are protesting, among other things, for the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse. "We have this bitter impression that we have exhausted all the analysis mechanisms to properly understand the content, complexity and nuances of the humanitarian disaster that our country is currently experiencing, and has been for several years now," Fr. Saint-Félix said with regret. 

Jovenel Moïse was accused of embezzlement in a report by the Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes on the use of Petrocaribe funds. The Petrocaribe program allowed Haiti to have a preferential rate on Venezuelan oil, in return for a term repayment of this loan. 

Despite this report, the Club of Ambassadors of the so-called "Friends of Haiti" countries still supports Mr. Moïse, affirming that they must respect his mandate. "From a political point of view, this is a dead end," wrote Fr. Saint-Félix. Scandals, discredit, division and sclerosis characterize the political class. 

But several actors are trying to find solutions. Some 20 MPs are calling for the indictment of the head of state, who has been already abandoned by the Haitian private sector. The Church is also involved, by also positioning itself against Mr. Moïse, as well as against inaction and violence. 

The Metropolitan Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Max Leroy Mesidor, recently protested against the government's silence and revolting inaction by asking: "Who is leading this country? "Mesidor says he doesn't believe in the spontaneity of this violence. "It is organized," he maintains. And that is the opinion of almost the entire population, respected intellectuals and ordinary citizens. In addition to the voices of Catholic bishops, we are witnessing as well many initiatives from the Protestant sector, such as press releases inviting parliamentarians to focus more on the common good. 

This situation is causing unrest on the streets of Port-au-Prince and the main cities in the region. The angry demonstrators "attack almost everything on their way: buses, vehicles, shops, private homes, public institutions." Schools are therefore closed, and cases of rape, armed robbery and serious criminal incidents are reported. Several people were even murdered, including Rospide Pétion, journalist and presenter of Radio Sans Fin. "We see violence that is gratuitous and only directed against the ordinary people who are already struggling to access basic social services." The economy is also affected: all economic activities are at half mast, public markets are mostly deserted, tourism (one of the most promising sectors in the country) has almost stopped. 

Since February the country has not been governed. Society is gangstruck. Physical and moral violence and hunger are taking hold in our neighbourhoods and lounges. The fear is palpable. The safety of the lives and property of citizens is far from being guaranteed. Freedom of the press is under serious threat. To paraphrase Marie-Vieux Chauvet, we have the impression of dancing on a volcano. 

Recent News

July 11, 2019 — This year, the Manresa Spiritual Center is celebrating its 70th anniversary. Many things have changed since the first laymen retreats in Toronto in 1925 and the foundation of Manresa in 1949, including the addition of retreats for women and for members of Alcoholics Anonymous.

July 9, 2019 — This second part of the Praying With the Preferences series focuses on the first two Apostolic Preferences: showing the way to God through the Spiritual Exercises and discernment; as well as walking with the poor and the outcasts of this world.

July 9, 2019 — On July 31, we will celebrate two special masses in honor of the Feast of Saint Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus.

July 8, 2019 — The Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice is very pleased to welcome two new, full-time staff members: Mark Hathaway as Associate Director and Victoria Blanco as Office and Program Manager.

July 1, 2019 — The Jesuits in Honduras are denouncing the Honduran government’s repression of protests over the past two months.

June 28, 2019 — This week is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This feast, whose origins date back to the XVIIth century, gives us the opportunity to meditate on how Jesus expressed his love. It was also an occasion for the Jesuits of Canada to consecrate their Toronto offices on June 25.  

June 28, 2019 — Last week, Pope Francis reiterated the importance of inclusion in the world of education, using the Fe y Alegría model as an example. This exhortation is a recurring theme in the Pope's speeches and is in line with a call for renewal in education which dates back to 1965.

view all news

Search news


Campion's Brag

Relations Mai 2019

Canadian Jesuits

Centre de spiritualité Manrèse

Prenant appui sur l’importance qu’Ignace accordait à son expérience personnelle de ...