In Haiti, The Difficult Relationship Of Gangs And Business

Flanked by members of the G9 gang coalition, leader Jimmy Cherizier, aka Barbecue, right, talks to reporters near the perimeter wall that encloses Terminal Varreux, the port owned by the Mevs family, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. Barbecue, a former policeman, fancies himself a man of the people and an enemy of the elite. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

(AP) — Youri Mevs is not starving, not struggling for survival — in so many ways, she is unlike the migrants who are fleeing Haiti’s misery. She traces her roots to ancestors who came to Haiti generations ago and built fortunes. But like those emigrants, she and others among Haiti’s wealthy elite have few illusions about life in Haiti.

She constantly struggles to keep her business going in the face of threats and extortion by the gangs that rule a country where government has ceased to function. She may have to leave, eventually, but in the meantime, she vows to help fight the political battle to rebuild her country.



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