Home » Several “gang members” died in police operation to capture leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier in Haiti, police say

Several “gang members” died in police operation to capture leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier in Haiti, police say

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Several “gang members” died in police operation to capture leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier in Haiti, police say

(CNN) –– Several “gang members” died during a police operation in a Port-au-Prince neighborhood where leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier lives and operates, the Haitian National Police announced this Saturday.

Authorities said they exchanged gunfire with Cherizier’s men in the operation, which was carried out on Friday to “thwart the actions of armed gangs.”
Police also said they confiscated firearms and unblocked roads in the Lower Delmas neighborhood.
“The police institution is implementing new strategies with the aim of recovering some areas occupied by these armed gangs in recent days, in order to facilitate the free movement of peaceful citizens,” reads a statement from the PNH.

Two law enforcement sources told CNN on Friday that authorities had launched the operation in Lower Delmas as special forces pursued Cherizier. Saturday’s police statement did not specify whether the gang leader had been located.
The statement ensures that a report on the progress of the operations will be presented to the public soon.

Who is Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier?

In the midst of the wave of violence that hits Port-au-Prince, the figure of the gang leader who has become the face of the attacks against the Government emerged: Jimmy “Barbecue” (or Barbacoa, in Spanish) Cherizier.

Cherizier is not the only gang leader in Haiti, although he has become the most famous and appears to be at the head of the Viv Ansanm (or Living Together) gang alliance, which controls 80% of the capital and disputes the rest, according to the UN.
He also does not hide his face, as his subordinates do, and he was the first to publicly assure that the gangs’ actions sought to overthrow the Government.
“If Ariel Henry does not resign, if the international community continues to support Ariel Henry, they will lead us directly into a civil war that will end in genocide,” Cherizier told Reuters.
“We ask the Haitian National Police and the Army to assume their responsibility and arrest Ariel Henry. Once again, the population is not our enemy; the armed groups are not our enemy. Arrest Ariel Henry for the liberation of the country,” he noted recently.
Barbecue also claimed responsibility for the attack on Sunday, March 3, against the largest prison in Port-au-Prince, which allowed some 3,000 inmates to escape.

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Where does “Barbecue” Cherizier come from?

Little is precisely known about the life of this former police officer, born on March 30, 1977, who became a gang leader, who faces sanctions from both the United Nations and the United States Department of the Treasury.
Specifically, the UN accuses Cherizier of committing human rights abuses and carrying out deadly attacks against civilians, alleging that his actions “have directly contributed to the economic paralysis and humanitarian crisis in Haiti.”
While the Treasury Department also accuses him of human rights abuses and carrying out brutal attacks against civilians in Port-au-Prince at least since 2018, as leader of the nine-gang “G9” alliance. He was sanctioned in 2020.
In late February, photographer Giles Clarke interviewed Cherizier in a modest hilltop house in Delmas 6, a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince. There, Barbecue told him that the gangs were seeking to change the current system and create a new Haiti.

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