Several hundred demonstrators gathered around a notorious gang leader Monday to demand justice for the late president Jovenel Moïse and honor his memory.
Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier, dressed in a white suit and a black tie, held wreaths of flowers as members of nine different gangs held a rally in La Saline, in the seaside of Port-au-Prince. Many wore hoods that covered their faces to avoid being identified.
Nearby, a truck played music as Cherizier knelt down before a large portrait of Moïse and lit candles. The crowd, also in mourning white, sang as they circled a bonfire and threw salt into the flames as part of a ceremony to honor the late president.
Cherizier, a former police officer who now leads “Force Revolution G9 & Family Allies” group of street gangs railed against human rights advocates, journalists and business owners, whom he accused of colluding to kill Moïse.
“Just as you invested your money to kill President Jovenel Moïse, we are going to invest ourselves with all our strength to get you off this land”, Cherizier said.
To avenge what he sees as yet another attack on the poor, ‘Barbecue’ invites other gang leaders in the capital to join the G9 in the fight against the beneficiaries of the system.