Barbecue, Infamous Haitian Gang Boss, Claims He’s Prepared for War

( – Haiti is a country without a government right now. There are no elected officials in power and the nation has been without a president since 2021. Gangs have prevented a new government from taking power. The infamous crime boss, Barbecue, has claimed he’s ready for a long fight.

The gangs in Haiti forced the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry in March. Interim Prime Minister Michel Patrick Boisvert is currently serving, but he doesn’t appear to have much power. The gangs are still in control of the Caribbean island. NPR recently sent a reporter to the country to assess the situation.

According to the report, dozens of heavily armed gang members patrolled the streets of Port-au-Prince, the capital. They were carrying assault rifles and handguns. Some of them covered their faces. Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier, 47, controls the members of the G9 federation of gangs.

Chérizier is a former elite police officer who convinced the gangs to stop fighting one another and turn on the government. In 2020, the US Treasury put him on a list of sanctioned individuals, and the United Nations did something similar in 2022.

The gang leader met with NPR and said he used to fight the groups as a police officer but then had “an awakening.” He explained that the Haitian system of governance created the gangs and then used them to carry out their dirty work. So he decided he would stop fighting them and turn his sights to the elite. The reporter pointed out that the gang members are now raping women, extorting poor people, and burning down houses. He didn’t deny any of that but claimed the “government allowed those things to happen.”

Chérizier criticized the US for helping establish a nine-member transitional council that will pave the way for elections. He claimed that is not what the Haitian people want. When asked about the impending arrival of a Kenyan-led multinational force, Barbecue said that gang members are ready for a long fight.

The gang leader told the reporter that he believed the Kenyan forces would get sick of fighting and eventually leave, but he predicted there would be a lot of bloodshed.

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