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Experts: Chérizier social media ban “a joke,” media blamed for his rise

A rifle strapped around his neck, Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier, walked with a throng of people marching in Port-au-Prince last month to denounce kidnappings. With a rara band providing music as a backdrop, the demonstrators — including several children — sang with the Chérizier, who this year began calling the gang he leads the Force Revolutionary G9. 

“G9 pa nan kidnapping,” they chanted, meaning the group is not involved in kidnapping, the people sang. Journalists scrambled through the crowd to record Chérizier on their phones. Boys in the crowd gazed upon, with the vacuum of Haitian government left wide open, he proclaimed himself a man of the people.

Now, the Haitian government is attempting to slow down Chérizier from committing “terrorist acts” by asking various social media platforms to block his accounts. It’s a move that won’t be productive, especially because Chérizier mainly sends his messages across in press conferences now — not his social media accounts — some residents said.

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