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International News: Canadian Embassy in Haiti evacuates staff as crisis worsens in Haiti

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2024. 3:15 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: A well-known gang leader in Haiti has issued a threatening message aimed at political leaders who would take part in a planned transition council for the country, Reutersreport.

Due to the worsening crisis in Haiti, the Canadian Embassy also evacuated its staff in Port-au-Prince.

On Monday, Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced that he would step down once the council was in place.

But, attacks continued throughout the country with an attack on the police academy today.

Haiti is struggling to resolve a long-running political and humanitarian crisis. 

Human rights groups continue to report widespread killings, kidnappings and sexual violence. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced.

In a rambling 7-minute audio, gang alliance head Jimmy “Barbeque” Cherizier said, “Don’t you have any shame?” directing his remarks at politicians who he said were looking to join the council. 

“You have taken the country where it is today. You have no idea what will happen,” he added.

“I’ll know if your kids are in Haiti, if your wives are in Haiti … if your husbands are in Haiti,” he said in an apparent threat to their families. 

“If you’re gonna run the country all your family ought to be there,” Cherizier threatened.

Meanwhile, Canada announced a reduction to its embassy staff that will leave only essential employees in the country.

“This will allow us to maintain our presence in Haiti to support Canadians during this volatile situation,” Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement.

 

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