The insecurity that currently prevails in the Haitian capital is having serious consequences on how the people are functioning. Some habits have changed. Ernst Cadichon spoke as follows:
(Cadichon) The climate of security that has been affecting the metropolitan area (of Port-au-Prince) has many consequences on how people function. Many citizens frequenting downtown Port-au-Prince are very worried for their security. Philippe, a (mobile) drinking water seller who operates in a bus station in downtown Port-au-Prince, explains the difficulties he is facing.
(Philippe) I sell drinking water (to passengers and passers-by). Sales have dropped sharply. Some men held me and took my money from me. The country cannot continue like this. I do not make much money. I may have sales amounting to about 10 gourdes in the streets. I have to use these 10 gourdes to pay for my transportation. I live in Cite Soleil, a hot area. When you get there, chances are that these guys will see me and will take the money from me.
(Cadichon) Insecurity has caused many habits to change. For example, young men and women avoid staying out late in public squares.
(Unidentified speaker) There are not many people even on Champ de Mars. There is no public square where people can go at this time because after 4:00 p.m. the entire city shuts down and nobody can move around. Only bandits and the police rule then. Yes, all of us – not only I – are upset. All the youths in the country do because things were not like this before.
(Cadichon) Another habit that has changed is that many men who are unfaithful to their wives have to stay away from their mistress if they live in dangerous areas. Women are not riches, according to the following husband, who wishes to remain anonymous:
(Unidentified speaker) My dear, I have a mistress. But I cannot go to see her. This does not mean that I do not love her. But I cannot go and see her because things are not good at all in the country. I dare not go to the place where she lives. I cannot. So, my dear, I have to leave her.
(Cadichon) On Friday, 17 June, all kinds of heavy-caliber weapons were in use in downtown Port-au-Prince. Not only has this situation increased citizens’ concerns but it has also had major consequences on the country’s economy.