Father Miguel de Haro, a Spanish Redemptorist missionary at the helm of the NGO “Acoger y Compartir” which manages some projects in Haiti, is currently busy building a small social pantry in Les Anglais, in the south of the country. In an interview with Scala News, Father Miguel describes the situation in the Caribbean country, which he has known for some time, especially now after the assassination of President Moïse.
“People live in fear, according to information that comes to me from Haiti because murders continued on the island even in the capital, Port au Prince. Armed gangs act to create and cause fear, and they succeed. This leads to social and political chaos with the risk of anarchy. Faced with this scenario, the International Bodies, such as the UN, OEA, EU, are pressing to obtain a consensus, a political agreement, between the parties and the institutions. Specifically, between Claude Joseph and the new presidential candidate, Ariel Henry. According to the latest news, the latter had Joseph’s recognition for leading the country, this helps to create a calmer atmosphere also for President Moïse’s funeral on 23 July. This is an important step forward for the reconstruction of the country. For the missionary, the solution cannot be represented by elections managed, as in the past, by the usual political groups that now lack credibility. “It is not enough to have elections just to have them – he underlines, the whole population must have a valid document to be able to carry out clear and fair elections. It is not even necessary to ask for the intervention of international organizations to control the conduct of the vote, but previous work must be done. We need to trust the people so that every Haitian can have a document and can participate in the vote.”
As a second point, Father Miguel considers it necessary to verify that the candidates have no contact with drug trafficking or with any type of corruption. “Here, I think, the Church could participate directly, identifying young and uncorrupted candidates, to be able to make a generational change of the leaders of Haitian politics. It is necessary to propose candidates with an ethical sense, with human qualities, who are trained to propose the transformation necessary for the country. Only in this way will people be able to regain confidence and go to vote, and the elections will be truly representative.”
Concerning the current situation, the missionary reiterates that “it is very difficult, there is no economic stability and no security either. We need to change the idea that the only way out is violence, rather we need to propose dialogue, respect, solidarity.
The Haitian people must regain their dignity as a people. One proposal that I believe could give the people confidence and would be part of the solution is to check the money that any organization receives to help Haiti. Many donations have disappeared either because the state intervened or because what was promised was not realized. These controls need to be public and transparent.”
On this subject, Father Miguel reiterates the importance of controlling and accounting for the money invested in a public way, without considering whether the NGO in question is sponsored by famous people or prominent politicians. “In this context – he continues – the Church could be of help, which as an institution has the recognition of the people, so it could ask for information. There is no interest in losing any privileges or presenting oneself as an uncomfortable reality, but it would be a way of carrying out a mission, that is, recognizing that words are not enough but deeds are needed.”
Many rumors are circulating about Haitian politicians, according to which they have relations with organized crime, directly or indirectly. “As long as this situation continues, there will not be a different future for the people” underlines the missionary, who hopes: “the Church should speak prophetically and speak aloud to politicians not to play with the hunger of the poor because they are the ones who pay the consequences of hunger and despair.”
“I have faith in young Haitians – concludes Father Miguel – who love their country and want a different future, more ethical and more supportive for all those who have been subjected to the arrogance of a minority for too long.”