Local Haitian-Americans distraught over growing gang violence in Caribbean nation

WABC logo
Friday, March 15, 2024
Local Haitian-Americans distraught over growing crisis in Caribbean nation
Anthony Johnson has more on the local reaction to the crisis unfolding in Haiti.

IRVINGTON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Officials say a plan to create a transitional presidential council in Haiti is moving forward following weeks of soaring anti-government violence led by an alliance of gangs.

Acting Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced Monday his plans to resign once the council is created.

The U.S. State Department says it's unclear how many Americans may be in Haiti at the moment, as people in the Tri-State area with families in the Caribbean nation are keeping a close eye on the developing situation.

One Haitian-American says kids are starving in the Caribbean country yet walking around with high-powered military weapons.

"There's gun shooting happening up and down, they don't stop," said Nelly Nicolas. "It don't stop, and there's nobody to stop it."

There is mounting concern for Americans still in Haiti with efforts to evacuate turning into terrifying ordeals.

"Everyday I wake up thinking, Lord, please send us a chopper," said Jill Dolan, who is stuck in the country. "Please send us an airplane that's going to come and rescue us today."

Despite the ongoing fear in the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince, many are trying to get back to business while a top gang leader has refused to accept proposals for a transitional government.

"You know the Haitian celebrities, the Haitian community, the Haitian-Americans that are here need to step in," said Nicholas. "Not just sit back and watch it on social media, talk about it and don't do nothing."

At this point, many feel the only option is free and fair elections in Haiti to let the people of the Island nation decide their own fate.

Many Haitian-Americans living in Irvington are watching the situation in their native land and call it "heartbreaking."


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.