A nearly empty street in Martissant, Port-au-Prince, where gang activities are rampant. Photo via Today90

PORT-AU-PRINCE — One day before a massive strike was to take place last week, a delegation of government and police officials met with a group calling for a stop to all activities in Haiti’s southern region. 

Organizers of the “unlimited” strike had hoped it would force the authorities to wrest control of major roadways from the violent gangs populating the Martissant area, which they rely on to travel to Port-au-Prince for their livelihoods. The strike was to be “unlimited,” meaning all businesses would stop operations, indefinitely.

The government delegation that met with Ferguston Calix, Les Cayes Chamber of Commerce and residents asked them to delay the strike, saying  they needed two more weeks to remove the gang blockades. The strike’s organizers rejected the request.

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I am Juhakenson Blaise, a journalist based in the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I cover the news that develops in this city and deals with other subjects related to the experience of Haitians for the Haitian Times newspaper. I am also a lover of poetry.