Léon Charles, the head of Haiti’s National Police, was forced to cancel the installation of a new police commissioner in Cap-Haitien when the ceremony’s invited guests left the room in protest.
The installation of Frantz Mathurin was set to occur Aug. 3 at the police headquarters of Haiti’s second largest city. However, the elected officials and notable residents invited to attend abruptly left the room when Charles appeared. Pierre Deagaul Augustin, the government’s delegate for the north, was among the group that left, followed by journalists who were supposed to report on the ceremony.
The invitees said they are not happy with the planned replacement because the current police commissioner, Eddit T. Sylvain, is doing well. Over the past three weeks, Sylvain has led several operations to crack down on black market gasoline sales in the city.
The snub by northerners is the second for Charles in as many weeks. At the funeral of assassinated president Jovenel Moïse’s July 23, Charles was confronted by angry residents who blamed the slaying and ongoing violence across the country on incompetent policing.