PORT-AU-PRINCE — Fuel distribution in Haiti has resumed after G-9 gang leader, Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier, reached a cease-fire with Haitian police, according to local media.
In exchange for the fuel, Chérizier, whose gang had taken control of Varreux, a port terminal in Port-au-Prince, demanded on Nov. 12 the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry and the withdrawal of armored police vehicles at Village de Dieu, an area of Cite Soleil that serves as their base.
In the ensuing days, the port received nearly 3 million gallons of diesel, gasoline and kerosene, to be dispersed throughout the country.
Industry officials welcomed the news, following weeks of fuel shortage that had crippled teh country. David Turnier, president of the National Association of Petroleum Product Distributors (ANADIPP), said he hoped for a return to normal levels of distribution by the end of this week. Marc-André Dériphonse, president of the National Association of Service Station Owners (ANAPROSS), said if Varreux continues to supply the market without disruption, there will be an improvement in distribution.
Gangs with the G9 & Family Allies coalition have for months blocked access to the Varreux, where the majority of Haiti’s fuel products are stored.
In response, demonstrators held numerous protests around the country and allegations of corruption emerged. Motorcyclists and tap-tap drivers said the gas stations tried to profit by selling gasoline to street merchants, instead of directly to consumers– only to give a portion of the profits to the gas station owners.
From October through this month, activities across Haiti were halted as a result of the fuel shortage. The majority of gas stations in Port-au-Prince and in other departments were closed for weeks.
Chérizier, who is wanted by the police, said in a press briefing that the truce is effective through Nov 18.