Assassination of President Moïse in Haiti – The Jesuits’ reaction

In the early hours of 7 July, a macabre incident was added to the long list of painful events that have marked the socio-political life of Haiti in recent months. The president, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated in his home and his wife seriously injured by an armed commando. The reasons for the attack are not yet known, although the police subsequently shot and arrested multiple suspects. The Jesuits, as well as the general population, reacted initially with surprise, uncertainty and fear.

The next day, 8 July, the Curia of the Society of Jesus in Haiti issued a communiqué publicly expressing its reading not only of the assassination event, but of the more general situation in which the country finds itself. The title and subtitle of the message already clearly present the perspective of the Haitian Jesuits: The assassination of the President of Haiti, Mr. Jovenel Moïse: a mirror of the socio-economic and political chaos of a society. An invitation to bear witness to the hope of the Risen One in the midst of human distress.

Here are some excerpts from this statement.

This event is far from being an isolated act. It takes place in a context of general crisis, of blind violence, of the occupation of almost a third of the capital’s territory by armed gangs, of almost total paralysis of the country’s political, economic and cultural life. It is an indicator of the disarray of a society, the logical continuation of an astonishing and sad escalation that has accelerated in recent months.

This situation was described in the message of the Jesuits of 18 December 2020. In it, we sounded the alarm and called on the national and international actors concerned. The assassination of President Moïse, while worsening the chaos in which the country is mired, is also a mirror that reflects the major problems that are paralysing society today: the serious security crisis, the collapse of institutions, the constitutional vacuum, the deep discredit of politics and the rejection of the Head of State by a large part of the population, the “gangsterisation” of the inhabitants of the working-class districts of the cities and the rural world as a political strategy, the polarisation of political life, the bitter failure of the international players, the selfishness and narrow-mindedness of a large part of the all-powerful economic oligarchy. (...)

The President experienced a level of unpopularity rarely recorded by a Head of State in the country’s political history. The collapse of the economy and its harsh repercussions on the population, especially the marginalised majority sectors, (...) his lack of political experience and his catastrophic management of the crisis, especially his relationship with the gangs, all unfortunately anticipated the tragic end of the political experience of this young entrepreneur. (...) His assassination creates a situation close to chaos.

It is in this special context, made of anguish and uncertainty, of suffering but also of hope, that we, Jesuits of Haiti, are called to announce the Risen Christ, the Victor over evil, of violence, of lies and of death: to incarnate the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Society of Jesus. Such a situation makes us realize our human limitations, our powerlessness; but at the same time it invites us to rely on the grace of the Lord, who never fails; to live authentically our mission of making life grow and hope germinate in the hearts of the women and men of our country, especially the youngest. In this way, we will continue to participate in the process of healing and reconciliation of the great Haitian family so that it can finally experience integral liberation and find a taste for life. There is no need to tell you that we also count on your active fraternal solidarity.

May the Lord bless our country; may he grant us peace, consolation and serenity!

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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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