[<< wikipedia] Jimmy Chérizier
Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier (born 1976 or 1977), also known by the pseudonym “Babekyou”, is a Haitian gang leader who is the head of the G9 gang, formally known as the G9 an fanmi e alye (G9 Family and Allies) gang, a collective of nine Haitian gangs based in Port-au-Prince. He is believed to be responsible for numerous large-scale massacres in the Port-au-Prince area.


== Background ==
Chérizier was a police officer for the Haitian National Police before becoming a gang leader. Chérizier belonged to the Unité Départementale pour le Maintien de l'Ordre (UDMO, trans. "Unit for the Maintenance of Order"), a special unit within the Haitian National Police. While he was a police officer, Chérizier is alleged to have perpetrated the 2018 La Saline massacre in which at least 71 people were killed and over 400 homes were burned down, for which he was sanctioned by the United States in 2020. Chérizier was sanctioned along with two senior Haitian government officials who allegedly provided police equipment, guns, and vehicles for the massacre. It is also alleged by some Haitians that then-President Jovenel Moïse was responsible for the killings, using Chérizier's gang to repress government dissidents.Chérizier leads G9, a self-described gang federation composed of nine gangs. The formation of G9 was officially announced by Chérizier in a YouTube video on June 10, 2020, soon after the May 2020 massacre. G9 has been described as one of about 95 gangs that battle for supremacy in Port-au-Prince. Its stronghold is believed to be the commune of Delmas, Ouest, and as of July 2021 it controlled Martissant, Village de Dieu, Grande Ravine, Bel Air, Cité Soleil, Fort Dimanche, and many other areas in Port-au-Prince. These areas give G9 a hold over the center of Port-au-Prince as well as northern and southern access points to its metropolitan area, which allow G9 to isolate Port-au-Prince from the rest of Haiti at their will.G9 has allegedly been responsible for numerous massacres of civilians in Haiti, including the May 24–27, 2020 massacre across various neighborhoods across Port-au-Prince that killed 6 to 34 people, the August–September 2020 massacre that left 22 dead, and the April 2021 massacre that resulted from an attempted takeover of Bel Air in Port-au-Prince. The National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH), a human rights group based in Haiti, reported the 2020-21 massacre in Bel Air committed by G9 that shot and killed 81 people (36 people from August to December 2020 and 45 people from March to May 2021) and left 18 missing, and the massacre in Cité Soleil from January to May 2021 committed by G9 that shot and killed 44 people and left 7 missing. Human rights groups and victims have described G9's tactics to include random killing of civilians, systematic rape, looting and torching villages, kidnapping, and dismemberment.G9 was at one time described as closely allied with President Moïse and free from prosecution as long as they enforced street-level peace. In investigating the 2020-21 Bel Air massacre and the 2021 Cité Soleil massacre, RNDDH reported that Haitian National Police officers did not intervene in the massacres after failing to receive orders from superiors and did not file any police reports on witness testimony, and that judicial authorities claimed to have received no complaints from any massacre victims. RNDDH also stated that they received reports that police equipment was used to conduct the massacres.On May 12, 2021, Chérizier was reportedly wounded during a gunfight with a rival gang. A Doctors Without Borders facility in Martissant, Port-au-Prince, denied rumors that he had received medical treatment at the facility.In the weeks leading up to the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, the United Nations described gang violence as peaking at "unprecedented levels," and gang violence had caused a mass exodus of several thousands of people from Port-au-Prince. On June 23, 2021, Chérizier made a statement in which he declared that the G9 gang collective would lead an armed revolution against Haiti's business and political elites, and described G9 as filling the void left by government weakness and a force "to deliver Haiti from the opposition, the government, and the Haitian bourgeoisie." He gave this statement to local media outlets surrounded by gang members wielding machetes and guns, and the statement was posted on YouTube. Chérizier publicly demanded Moïse's resignation from office a week before the assassination, calling for a "national dialogue" to redefine the country. In the aftermath of the assassination, Chérizier publicly mourned Moïse, including leading a crowd of more than 1,000 demonstrators calling for justice against the perpetrators.


== Nickname ==
Chérizier has denied that his nickname "Barbecue" came from accusations of his setting people on fire, but from the fact that his mother was a fried chicken street vendor.


== References ==