Haitian assassination prompts fears from local relief agency

Enable Haiti founder is worried for the safety of about 900 children in three orphanages he runs in Haiti in wake of the assassination of the president.

Enable Haiti founder 'scared to death' of more violence in wake of presidential assassination

Jim Scott is founder of Enable Haiti which operates orphanages and schools in Haiti. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

The assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moïse has prompted the founder of Enable Haiti to be "scared to death" the country will erupt into chaotic violence.

"My fear is that the streets become more violent than they already are," said Jim Scott, who is also president Ground Effects, an automotive accessories manufacturer in Windsor.

Scott's organization runs three orphanages, three schools, a bakery and a farm in and around the capital Port-au-Prince.

He says so far, the 900 children and his staff are in lockdown and are safe and have avoided the violence that plagues the poverty-stricken country.

He says he is in touch with his security people on the ground and is watching the situation very carefully.

"Before this murder today..., our kids were already fearful and I just think this kind of ramps it up more," he said.

Scott said his organization recently shipped farm equipment from China and two 40-foot containers of food to Haiti but with the country possibly becoming even more unstable he's concerned he won't be able to get more supplies into the port.

"Without leadership and without them clearing the way I feel we can take a step backwards," said Scott.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the assassination of Moïse Tuesday night and tweeted that Canada "stands ready to support the people of Haiti and offer any assistance they need."

Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, seen here in a photo taken in December 2017, was shot dead in his home Tuesday night. (Ludovic Marin/Reuters)

Scott wants to see the prime minister stay true to his word.

"We've done a lot of standing around in the last couple of years. World leaders of countries far better off than Haiti haven't done a lot," said Scott, adding the country is suffering from lack of food, medical supplies, hospitals and jobs.

Scott would like to see the United Nations restore a peacekeeping mission that ended in 2019.

Enable Haiti is accepting donations of food such as bags of rice and summer clothing. Scott is concerned that supplies might run low in the schools and orphanages if hoarding starts happening in the stores.

Donations can be dropped off at Ground Effects at 4505 Rhodes Drive in Windsor.


Dale Molnar

Video Journalist

Dale Molnar is a video journalist at CBC Windsor. He is a graduate of the University of Windsor and has worked in television, radio and print. He has received a number of awards including an RTDNA regional TV news award and a New York Festivals honourable mention.