LES CAYES, Sud, HT (sentinel.ht) – The controversial Mayor of Aux Cayes, Jean Gabriel Fortuné, called on citizens of his city to arm themselves with guns, legal and illegal, machetes, sticks and/or rocks, to deal with those protesting the 2017-18 Finance Law that includes new and hiked taxes and less investment.
Mayor Fortune, who earlier this year called for the murder of a journalist, said his call was so that citizens can protect their property, parents their children who are going to school, in the face of protests that have turned violent at times.
“There are some who have a stick, others a machete or a gun, if they are to be used to defend the right of children to go to school, who are considered the first citizens of Cayes. All these calls for violence, in the name of the fact that education is the greatest good a parent can offer his child,” said Jean Gabriel Fortuné following an anti-Finance Law 17-18 protest that turned violent a week prior.
At this demonstration, thousands, according to reports, of demonstrators threw stones at the police, after the police used tear gas against them, especially in the Savane district, where the smoke affected students in nearby schools.
Asked about the virulence of his remarks, which are tantamount to an incitement or even to promote a civil war, the mayor replied to a journalist, “take it as you wish and add that it is your level n’import de quot.”
It must be said that the Mayor Fortune is not at his first declarations of war. At the beginning of August, he reported that journalist Jean Nazaire Jeanty of Radio Lebon FM and correspondent of the Caribbean FM in Port-au-Prince deserved death for reporting in which he denounced the state of unhealthy beach of Gelée, a few days of the patronal festival of the 3rd city of the country.
The mayor repeated several times that the journalist deserved to die for his words and that if there was a functional intelligence service in the city, he would not need to receive orders to make the journalist.
The latter had filed a complaint against the Mayor Fortune, very close to President Jovenel Moise, for the death threats, but the case would take several weeks before being heard by the government commissioner.
And since Mr Jeanty had not presented himself to a pseudo audience to which he claims not to have been formally invited, the case was closed without further action.
Jean Gabriel Fortuné is not the only one close to the team in place to have held, in recent weeks, violent and inflammatory remarks, towards those whom they consider as ‘enemies’ of the power in place.
Former Mayor of Jacmel and former South East Senator, Edwin Daniel Zenny, said that members of five families he accused of funding protests against the budget deserve to be shot.
For Zenny, these “culprits” feel threatened by President Jovenel Moise’s desire to give electric power 24 hours a day in 24 months, while they receive 22 million US dollars a month to sell to the state of the “blackout”.
Life has become more and more commonplace in recent times in Haiti, where individuals who believe themselves above any law, utter death threats or call to execute whomever they want with impunity.
It would take much less, in other circumstances, for some organizations, some media, and power to see it as a threat to public safety.