Haiti: Who is Jimmy Cherizier aka Barbecue, gang leader threatening civil war?

PM Ariel Henry is currently in Puerto Rico

Haiti gang violence Former police officer Jimmy "Barbecue" Cherizier, leader of the 'G9' gang alliance | Reuters

Demanding the resignation of Haiti's Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, gang leader Jimmy Cherizier said that the Caribbean country will witness civil war if he doesn't step down. 

“Either Haiti becomes a paradise or a hell for all of us,” declared Chérizier. 

“If Ariel Henry doesn’t resign, if the international community continues to support him, we’ll be heading straight for a civil war that will lead to genocide,” added Chérizier.

In its latest attacks, police stations were targetted and set on fire in the capital. The gang leaders have shuttered the country's main international airport and freed over 4,000 inmates from prison in recent days.

On Wednesday, Henry remained in Puerto Rico, where he landed the day before after he was barred from landing in neighbouring Dominican Republic. 

Who is Jimmy Cherizier?

Jimmy Cherizier, also known as Barbecue and born in 1976, leads the Revolutionary Forces of the G9 Family and Allies. This federation comprises more than a dozen Haitian gangs centred in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti.

Born in Delmas, Cherizier was a police officer with the Haitian National Police. 

While being a police officer, he was alleged to have been involved in perpetrating the 2018 La Saline massacre, which claimed over 70 lives and burned down over 400 homes. Not just that, he was also accused of being involved in the 2017 Grand Ravine massacre, which killed at least 9 people. Later in 2018, he was fired by the Haitian National Police. 

He then became the leader of the Revolutionary Forces of the G9 Family and Allies. Initially, the group was composed of nine gangs later it expanded. 

The formation of the G9 was formally announced by Cherizier in 2020. He calls himself, the leader of the "armed revolution". 

The gangs have a stronghold in many regions including Delmas, Ouest, Village de Dieu, Martissant, Bel Air, Cite Soleil, and Fort Dimanche.


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