Letter from Jacques Merine
Friday, November 1st, 2019
Dear members of the news media,
Proverbs 31:8-9 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
If I had the opportunity to present two questions to humanity, they would be : “Why has the whole world turned their backs on the Haitian people at their greatest time of need?” and “Has even the media around the world turned their backs on Haiti?” It does not seem that anyone is bothering to ask questions about so many lives being lost.
A crisis began in Haiti in July 2018, but it has been quickly becoming a Humanitarian Crisis over the past seven weeks. It breaks my heart to see backs being turned toward the Haitian people. I ask myself, “how many lives need to be lost either by bullets from the gangs or police or starvation before the media will report the grave situation?” For the last seven weeks, the following things have NOT been available in Haiti: gas, water, food, electricity, security, and hospitals. And if basic needs are not available to people, please don’t even think about justice.
Haiti has become a lawless land. Currently gangs are in charge; they control the entire country from north to south, from east to west. Basically nobody can walk two blocks from their home without getting robbed or killed. Dead bodies have been in the streets with no service to pick them up after they’ve been shot by gangs or police. About two weeks ago, a 16 year old was hit by four police bullets but did not die immediately. The police picked him up, put a chain on his leg, drove him to what you would call the “General Hospital,” and a few hours later, he died there with the chain still on his leg. Can you imagine what his mother is going through?
Memorial pictures painted by Haitian artists at the Delmas/Airport Rd. Viaduc (Kalfou Rezistans)
There have been atrocities occurring in Haiti, yet the international media continues to not report it. Crimes have been committed against women and children. An example is the La Saline Massacre that took place last November. Woman and children are now dying from all kinds of disease in the La Saline area. Many had to leave their homes almost a year ago after gangs swept into their community, raped, cut off women’s and children’s heads and burned their husbands. Why were there no news reports on these crimes? Months afterward, the UN finally acknowledged the massacre, yet it was still not reported by the media. Is it okay to kill Haitians? Do they not count as human beings?
I would like to warn the world about a Humanitarian Disaster which will happen in Haiti very soon while the eyes of humankind are closed. I don’t believe the conditions of any other country have been ignored like those of Haiti right now. Even social media is not showing what is happening in Haiti. We are on the brink of a food and health crisis in Haiti; it is already rare to find supplies or a functioning hospital where a loved one can be taken. For instance, in the area of my Children’s Home, we experienced a 26% increase in the costs of food from September 1st to October 1st.
For over seven weeks, there have been riots seven days a week in the entire country. More than a million people have been in the streets every day asking for better living conditions. That is completely understandable considering Haiti is a nation of 12 million people who are living under inhumane conditions. Dead bodies lie in the streets being eaten by pigs and dogs with sanitation barely existent. For seven weeks, neither government nor schools have functioned. The food supply has been virtually shut off throughout the country.
My plea is for the world to please take a look at the situation in Haiti before it becomes a full-fledged Humanitarian Crisis! Haitians are human beings just like any other nation. It’s time to save men, women, and children from dying.
It is time to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Thank-you for allowing me to be a voice for the nation of Haiti and for taking the time to read my plea!
Jacques M. Merine
Founder and Director, Source of Life Ministries
*Pictures used by permission: K. Bultje