Haitian authorities say they have retaken control of the main gas terminal in the capital Port-au-Prince, ending the gang’s stranglehold on the vital energy facility.
The news follows two weeks of negotiations with Haitian gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, according to Haitian politician Dr. Harrison Ernst, who met with Cherizier and Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry.
Cherizir, also known as “Barbecue,” is the leader of the G9, a federation of more than a dozen Haitian gangs based in Port-au-Prince.
“I talked to the barbeque and told the children to leave the terminal because they had to go back to school. And we urged the government to do its part to ensure that there is fuel and that the fuel gets to the customer,” said Ernest, a Haitian doctor and politician from the country’s Constitué Lavé party.
Constwi Lavi “has been playing a mediating role between the government and the group that blocked the gas terminal,” Ernst added.
“We have been working with the government and the gang for two weeks to open the gas.”
While the Haitian government has denied negotiating with the G9 to open a gas terminal, an adviser to Henry told CNN the Caribbean leader had met with Ernest.
“We don’t talk to gangsters and we don’t negotiate with gangsters; We want schools to open and stimulate economic activity as soon as possible. “The Prime Minister met with Ernest but he did not negotiate with the groups on our behalf,” said Special Adviser Jean Junior Joseph.
Haitian National Police spokesman Gary Desrosiers also confirmed that the Varreux terminal is now under police control. The terminal in southwestern Port-au-Prince supplies most of Haiti’s oil. It has been blocked by the G9 gangs for the past 6 weeks, suppressing the supply of fuel in the country.
The G9 left the Varrex terminal over the weekend, a senior security source told CNN.
But fuel relief remains for Greater Haiti as access roads to the terminal are still blocked by shipping containers and other obstacles.
Some armored vehicles of the Haitian National Police have been seen in the Varreux area, but so far there is no movement of trucks or workers at the terminal to resume, the source said.
The Haitian government, struggling with intertwined health, energy and security issues, requested international military assistance about a month ago.
Anti-government protests have also paralyzed the country, with schools, businesses and public transport across the country largely shut down.
Since August 22nd, Haitians have been demonstrating against chronic gang violence, poverty, food insecurity, rising prices and fuel shortages.