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Strike in Port-au-Prince, other cities around Haiti, held to protest gangs

Schools and most businesses were closed for a second consecutive day in Port-au-Prince following a call for a general strike to protest against rampant insecurity and kidnapping across the country, according to local media. 

The Association of Haitian Owners and Drivers, known in French as APCH, called for the closures. People responded by steering clear of the capital’s streets, which were largely empty for a second day. Drivers stayed home, businesses were shuttered, and schools struggled to stay open, while barricades of burning tires blocked off some routes in Port-au-Prince.

“Insecurity and kidnappings are ruining the country,” APCH president Méhu Changeux said. “We have other concerns with the cost of living and the gas shortage, but these two are the priority right now.”

Government officials and police have not addressed the strike.

Announced last week, the strike has drawn more attention after 17 members of a U.S.-based missionary group were kidnapped by a violent gang over the weekend. 

People rely on public transportation for daily activities, and drivers and riders are among the most common targets of gang kidnappings, Changeux said.

Cities in the country, including Jacmel, Cap Haïtien, and Les Cayes. 

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