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IMMINENT WARNING: FORMER HAITIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ERIC JEAN BAPTISTE KILLED

Date: October 31, 2022

Jan García, Daniel Ruiz, Juliet Sites, Aina Merino Bello, Julia Tsarnas, SOUTHCOM

Salomon Montaguth, Editor; Manja Vitasovic, Senior Editor

Eric Jean Baptiste[1]


Event: On October 28, 2022, Eric Jean Baptiste, leader of the Assembly of Progressive National Democrats (RDNP) political party was shot and killed along with his bodyguard in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Jean Baptiste and his bodyguard were on their way to Jean Baptiste’s residence when their vehicle sustained gunfire. Port-au-Prince is struck with political turmoil and gang presence, including the rival gangs, Ti Makak, led by Carlo Petithomme, and the Toto gang, supported by the businessman Monsanto Petit dit Toto.[2] Nearly 90,000 people were displaced from Port-au-Prince within the last year due to gang violence and the city faced a blockade by gangs in their main harbor in October 2022. Haiti’s Ambassador to the US, Bocchit Edmond, has requested international military assistance in order to de-escalate tensions so Haiti could hold democratic elections in the near future.[3]


Significance: The assassination of Eric Jean Baptiste will very likely further deteriorate security and stability conditions in Haiti. Gangs will likely continue to attack high-level targets to demonstrate their power in the country. Haitian police will likely launch operations to capture those responsible for the assassination. The gangs will likely opt to attack the police to prevent arrests. The attacks and police response will likely cause a spillover of violence in the country, almost certainly increasing the number of homicides. Jean Baptiste supporters will likely mobilize to protest the assassination. The violence initiated by the protests, and the political crisis will likely cause many Haitians to migrate to neighboring countries like the Dominican Republic.


Recommendations

  • Gang activity in Haiti has been steadily increasing and gaining control of the island since the July 2021 assassination of then-President Jovenel Moise. The situation has unraveled beyond reconciliation since the power vacuum between the government and the gangs started. The CTG recommends the international community implement immediate direct action to secure Haitian security. The CTG recommends that international military forces develop a direct action operations plan, to organize, and train the Haitian military and security forces, so state organizations maintain domestic security upon their departure.

  • The CTG recommends international aid from organizations like USAID, but only after law enforcement apprehends gangs. The United Nations (UN) should designate one member organization to implement clear leadership and decisive power so operations run smoothly to limit confusion among citizens.

  • Following direct action and disruption of aid, the CTG recommends international organizations secure, fair, and elections. The CTG recommends that elected officials are those popular within the local community and can offer communication with gangs. It is vital the newly appointed government officials are elected by the Haitians in order for long-term success.

  • If there is any additional and or critical information please contact us at The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) by Telephone 202-643-248 or email info@counterterrorismgroup.com


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[1] “Éric Jean Baptiste” by Toulisolp licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

[2] “Horrific assassination." "Well-known Haiti political leader killed in gang plagued region”, MSN News, October 2022

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/a-well-known-haiti-political-leader-is-dead-after-being-ambushed-by-a-violent-gang/ar-AA13w32x

[3] “Haitian politician shot dead as violent gangs and political turmoil push country to the "edge of collapse”, MSN News, October 2022

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/haitian-politician-shot-dead-as-violent-gangs-and-political-turmoil-push-country-to-the-edge-of-collapse/ar-AA13w01p



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