Dr. William Pape calls for urgent attention after a surge in killings and kidnappings around Haiti’s capital.
In the days following an upsurge in gang violence and weeks after his colleagues were kidnapped and the health clinic he founded shuttered for safety, Dr. Jean William Pape issued a call for action to the Haitian diaspora. Dr. Pape, director and founder of the Centers of the Haitian Study Group on Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections (Gheskio), wrote the message in response to a female healthcare worker whose family had been victimized.
Dr. Pape says Haiti has reached a new level of violence and insecurity in recent days, while the international community is playing “Ponce Pilate.” Further, he urges the Haitian diaspora to be aware and mobilize in the face of Haiti’s “descent to hell.”
Here are excerpts from Dr. Pape’s message.
It is high time for us to react because these crimes will multiply and we will all be victims.
It is high time to stop this descent into hell.
It must be made clear
Let the international know that by playing Pontius Pilate, they will be responsible for a massacre in Rwanda in Haiti. Like us, they have their share of responsibility and must help us resolve this nameless crisis. This descent into hell took place while the country was “under occupation.”
You must inform your relatives and friends of the diaspora, those in the United States and Canada in particular, to show solidarity with us who live day and night in the most total insecurity. So far, our diaspora that showed up on the Brooklyn Bridge when the CDC categorized us as 4H has remained silent.
This time it’s more serious than the 4H, it’s the disappearance of a country: the capital is surrounded and isolated, talents fleeing insecurity and facilitated by the Biden law are leaving the country in considerable numbers, schools are closing their doors or operate through the internet, commerce is dying, every day women are humiliated and raped, people are killed or kidnapped even inside their homes and are forced to abandon their place of residence.
Stop being hypocrites and zombies! The international took as a pretext not to intervene our differences on the arrival of an international force in support of the PNH. The AGERCA survey revealed that 69% of Haitians support the sending of an international force. As they can no longer take this excuse they are asking for a broader national political consensus on this issue.
We must put pressure on politicians who prefer to let this country die rather than have an international force while being unable to offer an alternative to this force. Their answer is that any international force will come in support of [Prime Minister] Ariel Henry. We have passed this stage. It is about the death of Haiti.
We need an international force to help reduce insecurity. It is more obvious that the PNH alone cannot solve this problem that we all face. This is also the role of a well-trained and well-equipped army that we do not have.
Today it is a question of bringing assistance to a country in danger. It is not an occupying force.
However, by sticking our heads in the sand so as not to see the imminent danger which threatens us all, we are headed straight for a national carnage which this time will force the international to come with an occupying force, which none of us would have liked.
It seems obvious that we have forgotten our motto!
We must act quickly before it is too late.
This is a citizen wake-up call!
Dr. Pape is the director and founder of the Gheskio centers in Haiti, and teaches medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College at Cornell University. Since 2021, Dr. Pape has been a member of the Scientific Council of the World Health Organization (OMS/WHO).