Haiti: Organizers postpone traditional international jazz festival due to gang violence

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Amid the rising gang violence in Haiti, its traditional international jazz festival has been postponed; the event organisers informed the general public. Although, the date to which the festival has been postponed has not been yet announced by the Haiti Jazz Foundation (who organises the festival). 

Milena Sandler, director of the foundation, cited, “We can’t take the risk, either for the 150 musicians or for our teams or for the public. We have been – thinking for a while now that it would be difficult, even morally, to stage a festive event in this context”. 

For the festival, the foundation brings well-renowned musicians from all over the world to the festival. 

At present, the situation of Haiti is getting worst day by day, as the crime rate, kidnappings, gang violence is surging at a higher rate. Since last month, the Haitian gangs have blocked the fuel terminals, which further led to the shortage of fuel in the schools, offices and hospitals, which put the lives of hundreds of patients at risk, including pregnant women, children and COVID-19 patients. 

After more than a month, the gang leader announced to temporarily lift blockade from the fuel terminals. Fuel shortages led to the closure of schools and offices and even some hospitals. 

Haiti is among the nations who are having a very low COVID-19 vaccination rate, which is even less than 2 per cent. The island started its vaccination drive in the month of July this year. 

It is among one of the nations in Latin America and the Caribbean who is having the highest crime rate, following which the United States and Canada have asked their citizens residing in the island to leave the country amid the turmoil. 

Recently, the Haitian gang who abducted 17 US and Canadian missionaries in the month of October have freed two of the hostages.