HomeNewsG9 vs. G-PEP - The Two Gang Alliances Tearing Haiti Apart
NEWS

G9 vs. G-PEP - The Two Gang Alliances Tearing Haiti Apart

ELITES AND CRIME / 21 JUL 2022 BY SCOTT MISTLER-FERGUSON EN

While violence and homicides are spiking across Haiti, the Port-au-Prince suburb of Cité Soleil has become the latest battleground for two well-armed and well-connected gang alliances.

On July 16, after weeks of intense fighting that has claimed several hundred lives, the United Nations voted unanimously to ban the sales of small arms and ammunition to Haiti, although a full embargo on all weapons sales was rejected. The UN Security Council requested members "prohibit the transfer of small arms, light weapons, and ammunition to non-State actors engaged in or supporting gang violence."

Most of the fighting in Haiti is due to a protracted conflict between two gang federations, the "G9 and Family" (G9 an fanmi - G9), connected to the ruling Haitian Tèt Kale Party (Parti Haïtien Tèt Kale – PHTK), and its rival, G-PEP, broadly supported by PHTK's political opponents.

SEE ALSO: GameChangers 2021: Barbecue, Gangs and Political Power in Haiti

While large parts of the capital have been affected, a key flashpoint in recent fighting has been the southern commune of Cité Soleil, long a stronghold for G-PEP. Its residents have been held hostage by constant shootouts since early July. A report published by Doctors Without Borders revealed that thousands are trapped by the violence, unable to leave their homes and with no access to water, electricity, healthcare, or functioning toilets. Roughly 89 people have been killed in Cité Soleil alone, according to Haiti's National Human Rights Defense Network (Réseau National de Défense des Droits de l'Homme- RNDDH), though that number is likely to grow.

"The commune has no police officers, no...court. The state must come back, we must implement projects to give alternatives to these young people who kill each other," the mayor of Cité Soleil, Joël Janéus, told Le Nouvelliste.

InSight Crime Analysis

There have long been deep connections between gangs and political parties in Haiti. These political links have provided protection to the gangs and given them access to funding directly through government "contracts," while in return they have repressed opposition movements and maintained social order in impoverished neighborhoods.

Over the last year, the country's main gang federations have cemented their role as de facto rulers in poorer areas, while increasing extortion and kidnapping to bolster income. Rival political parties have been keen to leverage this control for electoral gain, but given the pronounced weakness of the state exacerbated by the assassination of former President Jovenel Moïse, such gains are harder to achieve.

SEE ALSO: Why Haiti’s Gang War Keeps On Getting Worse

The G9, led by Jimmy Chérizier, alias “Barbecue,” enjoyed the support of the PHTK under slain President Moïse. Barbecue cut ties with the PHTK in 2021 because his dominance over large parts of Port-au-Prince allowed him to control significant numbers of polling stations, especially in areas like Martissant and Lower Delmas. The continued extent of government support for G9 is uncertain though RNDDH reported on July 13 that G9 received "heavy machines for the destruction off houses and the digging of a passage," from the National Center of Equipment (CNE), in assistance to their conflict.

However, Barbecue’s main rival, Gabriel Jean-Pierre, alias "Gabriel," has been busy. The leader of the rival G-PEP federation has previously secured some backing from the political opposition. He has also swollen his federation's numbers with the addition of 400 Mawozo, a gang that brought with it control of numerous crucial areas surrounding the capital.

Having seen their leader extradited to the US in May 2022, and under pressure from police raids, 400 Mawozo seem to have turned to Jean-Pierre in search of reliable new leadership. Eric Calpas, a gang researcher in Haiti, told InSight Crime that this union benefited G-PEP as well due to the influx of new members and revenue.

"Gabrielle's group was more of a political gang with a strong link to Lavalas," stated Calpas, referring to the Lavalas political movement which today is known as the Struggling People's Organization (Òganizasyon Pèp Kap Lité-OPL).

While the G-PEP remains broadly connected to opposition parties, it is unclear to what extent it receives material or financial support from them today.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 22 SEP 2022

Corruption and a lack of traceability allow military munitions to flow into the hands of criminals in Paraguay.

ELITES AND CRIME / 26 AUG 2022

Venezuela's prisons have failed to stop the country's most dangerous criminals, these can run criminal empires from behind bars.

ECUADOR / 16 MAY 2022

Ecuadorian gangs are taking another page from the playbook of crime groups in Mexico and Colombia, stepping up targeted killings…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…

WORK WITH US

Work With Us: Research Internship and Editorial Internship

31 OCT 2022

InSight Crime, a think tank dedicated to the study of organized crime and citizen security in the Americas, is seeking interns and investigators to join its dynamic, multinational team.