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A man drives past a burning barricade during a protest in Port-au-Prince on March 1 ((OSV News/Ralph Tedy Erol, Reuters)

The Haitian Bishops’ Conference has issued a pastoral letter pleading for the end of widespread violence and for the active search for peace and national reconciliation in the Caribbean nation. Source: Catholic World Report.

In the letter, the bishops expressed their profound concern over the murders, looting, and other acts of violence that have plunged the country into a major humanitarian crisis.

“This dream of a country without violence makes us raise our voices to call for an end to the acts that aim to reduce Haiti to ruins and ashes,” the 10 bishops of Haiti stated.

“The current situation fills us with pain and concern. It is an urgent call for reflection and action,” they stressed.

Gang violence was already rampant in Haiti but it exploded in late February while the unelected and unpopular prime minister, Ariel Henry, was overseas, ABC news reports. Gangs hell-bent on overthrowing him set fire to buildings and cars and stormed prisons, freeing more than 4000 inmates.

Mr Henry has since stepped down, and Port-au-Prince is now largely under gang control.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reported that from March 8 to 14, 16,947 people left the capital Port-Au-Prince due to increasing armed attacks and widespread insecurity. The country also lacks food, health care and drinking water.

The Haitian bishops encouraged “the efforts of all sectors” to find solution to the crisis and to restore peace and security by “providing the country with a form of inclusive transitional government”.

Meanwhile, Australian Catholic media apostolate Common has released a video addressing the crisis in Haiti. The interview, conducted in French with English subtitles, sheds light on the challenges facing Haiti and calls for peace amidst ongoing turmoil.

Redemptorist Fr Renold Antoine addresses issues such as corruption, impunity, and unemployment, which exacerbate the situation in Haiti

Advocating for dialogue and understanding as the path to lasting peace, Fr Renold cautions against further bloodshed and urges all parties to address the root causes of Haiti’s turmoil.

Details: A war that dares not speak its name (Common Home.TV interview)


Haiti’s Catholic bishops issue urgent appeal for end to violence (Catholic World Report)

Common Home TV spotlights the unfolding crisis in Haiti  (Common

Inside Haiti’s descent into anarchy — what life is like under the rule of a gangster named Barbecue (ABC News)