Thursday, December 28, 2006

Haitian Teachers Union Denounces Kidnappings

The recent denouncement of the surge of kidnappings in plaguing Haiti by its largest teacher's union is another indication that this phenomena has gotten out of control. The union is calling on the government to become more proactive in stemming the tide of this pandemic, which is threatening to further encumber the lives of school children who have seen their education arrested countless times during other recent periods of national unrest. It appears as if the kidnappers who in the past have been brazen enough to seize a peanut vendor for a thirty-dollar ransom are now preying on school children.

Other countries in South America, notably Brazil and Venezuela have had similar safety concerns surrounding kidnapping, but what distinguishes Haiti's problem is that since the country, and its metropolitan area (Port-au-Prince and Petion Ville) are much smaller than its counterparts, it is harder for the average citizen to feel secure in their ability to evade the kidnappers. This trend also impairs the likelihood of travel to the island by those visiting in the diaspora, who themselves feel insecure about evading the kidnappers, because unlike in the past where steering clear of politics was enough to guarantee one a modicum of protection, the prevailing sentiment in the country is that everyone is at risk.

There is hope however, because as the article relays, the students and union leaders are beginning to tackle this issue, and make the government realize that macho-posturing will not be enough to make it go away. Hopefully through their agitation the teachers and students will be able to bring about a sea-change in this disturbing national security situation facing Haiti.

The Nightshift Chronicler

Additional reporting by Alice Eddie Backer of kiskeyAcity who tracked the article on Global Voices.


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