Democracy Dialogues: Haiti’s Violence, Elections, and International Assistance

The Miami Herald's Jacqueline Charles discussed efforts to combat the country’s insecurity.


  • Jacqueline Charles, Caribbean Correspondent, Miami Herald
  • Eric Farnsworth, Vice President, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

"The capital of Haiti today is a place [where] after three o'clock, it shuts down," said Jacqueline Charles, Caribbean correspondent at the Miami Herald during a discussion on the gang situation in Haiti.

Recent actions to address the ongoing security and humanitarian crisis include a Kenyan delegation sent to Port-au-Prince and a proposal to send a Kenyan-led multinational police force to help stabilize Haiti. The proposal, which would need approval by the United Nations Security Council and the Kenyan government, would provide Haiti with 2,000 police officers—1,000 of which would be Kenyan and the rest contributed by other countries. Charles notes that efforts to combat violence in Haiti should be holistic and include measures that prevent gangs from growing because "a gang leader dies today but there are 10 young people behind him that are ready to take over."

Beyond the proposed international intervention, other questions remain over the legitimacy of the current acting Prime Minister Ariel Henry, the role of the Montana Accords, and the status of future elections, all of which affect Haiti’s path back to democracy. Since the assassination of former President Jovenel Moïse, Haiti does not have any elected officials in government. "How do you get to elections when today you have a capital that is controlled by gangs and the elections is playing in the background?" notes Charles.

Democracy Dialogues is a series of conversations we need to be having now on the state of democracy in the Americas. Hosted by Eric Farnsworth, these one-on-one interviews with leading democracy practitioners explore the most difficult issues of regional democratic governance with an eye toward pragmatic, well-calibrated solutions.

Past featured guests have included Colombia's then-President Iván Duque, NBA Basketball Star Enes Kanter Freedom, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, CubaDecide founder Rosa María Payá, Editor-in-Chief of Americas Quarterly Brian Winter, and founder and Editor of Nicaragua's Confidential Carlos Fernando Chamorro.

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