The sine qua non condition for the Haitian Diaspora to return home, foreign investors to come invest in our economy, and tourists to visit the country is to secure the nation. This is something most of us agree upon. We disagree, however, on the steps to be taken to get to that.
We talk a lot about what is needed for Haiti to start being a working country again, but not so much about how to make it possible. Restoring a sense of security inside the country is not complicated, and that could become a reality in a year if we are serious about it. We simply have got to take these three bold steps:
- The institution of the Haitian military (a professional military) with a clear and well defined mission, which is to defend, serve and protect the nation at any cost against foreign invaders and domestic and foreign terrorists. We do not need to start in full strength. We could start small (500 to 1000 well trained and equipped troops) and expand as we go and as our means allows.
- The institution of a structured and professional intelligence agency to be the eyes and ears of the government on matters pertaining to our national security. We must get these domestic terrorists terrorizing the population at their points of planning before they could carry out their missions or hit their next high-value targets (HVTs).
- The institution of capital punishment by means of “Pe Lebren” to punish these terrorists is paramount.
These terrorists are not to be played with; rather, they ought to be captured and brought to justice. And we can only be effective in our engagement when these three instances –the police force, the military and the intelligence agency –could operate in unison towards accomplishing one clear and well defined mission.
We need to take “Pe Lebren” off the streets and turn it into a punishment to be administered by the judges in the justice system. No one citizen will have the right to “Pe Lebrenize” another citizen. In other words, self-procurement of justice will automatically place the citizen in violation of the law. And anyone who does that will be dealt with in accordance with the legal treatment your case necessitates.
We need to “Pe Lebrenize” these terrorists in broad daylight so we could send a clear message to those who are contemplating on ways to hit their next HVTs. Such deterring measure will tell the next or aspiring terrorists that if they do not stop, if they persist in their mischievous operations, they are destined to face the same fate.
We are not the ones to believe in the rhetoric that poverty breeds crimes. Being poor cannot be a justification to commit crimes as one can be poor in dignity. So the notion that these terrorists cling to their criminal activities because of their socioeconomic situation is preposterous and does not resonate too well with us.
We are not aiming at seeing the emergence of a crime-free Haiti. That is not what we are aiming at. We have got to be realistic. What we want to achieve, however, is to put these terrorists out of their nuisance state. So we have a choice to make in this situation: either we regain control of the country so the Diaspora could return home, foreign investors could invest in the economy, and tourists could vacation in Haiti again as it used to be back then or let these terrorists have their way and turn the place into a crime state.
A renascent Haiti is possible if we all believe it is and accept to do what is necessary to make it happen. Everything starts with securing the country. So the security steps we will be undertaking in the days, weeks and months to come will determine the type of Haiti we want to have. Make no mistake that we have to work hard, diligently and intelligently to strengthen our economy through a job creation strategy. But that will not happen if we cannot secure the country and protect the people’s lives, investments and properties.