Haiti: Occasional Musings, 20 – Further attacks on LGBT community in Port-au-Prince
On May 17th I attended a public gathering of LGBTI activists and friends in a downtown hotel in Port-au-Prince as part of a weekend of IDAHO events. There were workshops, testimonies song and dance and a short play demonstrating street harassment and violence against LGBTI people but nothing on the scale of what has taken place in a short space of 6 weeks following a faith based anti-gay protest on 19th July. 2 murders, 47 people beaten with machetes, sticks and rocks and last weekend two further attacks.
On Saturday in the areas of Morne Lazard in Petion-Ville a private house party was attacked by unknown people carrying machete, knives and stones. They also carried Molotov cocktails which they threw into the house where a British and Haitian gay couple were celebrating their engagement. The police did try to intervene but either they didn’t try hard enough of the crowd was too large and no one was arrested. On Sunday in the area of Delmas, Marjory Lafontant who is the coordinator of lesbian organisation, FACSDIS, was harassed and attacked with stones and bottles by a crowd…..
” They said they do not wish to have an LGBT activist living in their neighbourhood – this is very serious for the community”
Although President Martelly has condemned the violence, his words have clearly not reached local police as no one has been arrested for any of the above crimes. The attack on Ms Lafontant in the vicinity her own home is a further escalation in the violence against the community. And because of the relative openness in the past LGBT people are extremely vulnerable at this time leaving everyone in a state of fear and anxiety over what will happen next!