(Dieu Nalio Chery/ Associated Press ) – A Haitian man shouts with arms spread wide during a march protesting a government plan to demolish their homes, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, July 12, 2012. The government recently announced that it planned to demolish hundreds of homes to build a flood-protection project in the ravine and relocate the residents northeast of the capital.
By Associated Press, Published: July 12
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — About 100 people marched in Haiti’s capital Thursday to protest a government plan that threatens to demolish their homes.
The protesters said they won’t let authorities destroy their houses even though they sit on the edge of a ravine looming over Port-au-Prince and sometimes crash down the hillside during heavy rains and leave people dead.
“I built my own house, and I’m not going to let anyone come and destroy it,” said Jony Juichelle, a 26-year-old protester. “If the government thinks that it’s going to destroy my house, they will have to kill me first.”
The demonstration was the second in as many weeks since Haitian officials announced the plan to demolish up to 450 homes in the shantytown to make way for a flood-protection project in the ravine.
More than 1,000 people participated in the first protest against the plan, which officials say would provide new land northeast of the capital for homes but for only about 200 people now living in the targeted shantytown.
The steep ravine snakes through one of Haiti’s biggest shantytowns and ends in front of an elite private school attended by the children of foreign diplomats and Haitian professionals. Seasonal rains cause the ravine to flood and sweep debris to the school entrance.
I was here when the 2010 Quake hit Haiti.
At that time damage to the Hexagon, Petion-Ville’s tallest building was obvious. So was the shoddy construction, revealed when plaster fell away from the flawed rows of building blocks that make up its walls. If I remember correctly, immediately after the quake, when the streets around the Hexagon were blocked off because of falling debris, the structure was condemned.
Rumors suggest that a $500,000 payment had the condemnation order rescinded.
The damage was so obvious that I will never set foot in the building again.
Others know the truth and space is difficult to rent.
If you do not have automobile insurance, I would suggest you do not park close to the Hexagon.
The people, mentioned in this article, do not have an official to bribe – so they will lose.