motorcyclists haiti
Motorcyclists unable to buy gas ride in protest to the home of Prime Minister Ariel Henry in October. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

A few months ago, Guerlinz Affriany returned from southwestern Haiti, where he helped provide relief after the Aug. 14 earthquake. But looking at a country plagued by gang violence, kidnapping that has only increased, he doesn’t know when he will go back. 

“They have the power to do whatever they want,” said Affriany, a retired military veteran in Elmont, New York, about the gangs. “Nobody wants to go to Haiti right now.” 

As Affriany noted, the kidnapping of American and Canadian missionaries in October went unresolved for about two months before the remaining 12 missionaries were freed Dec. 16. Analysts have also said the episode highlighted the weakness of the Haitian state, in a year plagued by instability and the assassination of President Jovenel Moise. 

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Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.