Defenseurs Plus, an organization promoting and defending human rights, is deeply disturbed by the recent cases of abductions followed by ransom-driven captivity that have affected Haiti. Specifically, we express our strong concern regarding the detention of Mr. Pierre-Louis OPONT, former president of the Provisional Electoral Council, and other hostages who continue to suffer at the hands of their captors.
Abductions followed by ransom-driven captivity are horrific crimes that jeopardize the peace and stability of a country already facing numerous challenges. They are a form of human trafficking condemned by international law and by the “Law on Kidnapping, Captivity, and Hostage-Taking of Individuals in Haiti” enacted on January 22, 2009, amending the decree of May 4, 2005. The situation in Haiti is alarming, and these acts of violence exacerbate the suffering of the Haitian people, who are already severely affected by poverty, unsanitary conditions, and the lack of social services. Certain areas of the country are breeding grounds for organized crime, systematically violating the fundamental rights of the affected populations.
Defenseurs Plus strongly calls on those responsible for these abductions to immediately release all hostages, including Mr. Pierre-Louis OPONT, and put an end to this inhumane practice. This abhorrent practice is a disgrace to the Haitian nation, which has made significant efforts to combat human trafficking and uphold dignity. Defenseurs Plus urges the Haitian authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the population and intensify their efforts to combat kidnapping crimes followed by ransom demands.
This practice leads to the depletion of resources within the population and has severe psychological consequences. National law enforcement, particularly the police, must take action to protect community members. Defenseurs Plus calls upon regional organizations such as CARICOM and the Organization of American States, as well as international actors, to join forces and support Haiti in addressing this alarming situation that has plagued the country for over three years and eradicate kidnapping. These cases of abductions, captivity, and other forms of violence significantly impede the socio-economic development of the country, with complicit silence from illegitimate individuals in positions of power.
During this challenging time, Defenseurs Plus expresses solidarity and support for the hostages and their families, who are enduring an unbearable ordeal. We firmly believe that justice will prevail and that those responsible for these crimes will be brought to justice. To end impunity and establish a robust justice system, citizens must unite throughout the country and demand better living conditions from their leaders.