Former police officer Jimmy "Barbecue" Cherizier, leader of the 'G9' coalition, leads a march surrounded by his security against Haiti's Prime Minister Ariel Henry, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti September 19, 2023. REUTERS/Ralph Tedy Erol TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

A Haitian expatriate, identifying himself as Kevin Forbes, is advising Jamaicans to exercise caution when offering refuge to individuals fleeing his native country. Forbes, who currently resides in The Bahamas after leaving Haiti years ago, is urging Jamaica to be vigilant about whom it welcomes, warning of potential risks associated with harboring criminals escaping violence-ridden Haiti.

Forbes emphasizes the importance of thorough background checks, suggesting that while deserving individuals should be welcomed, those with criminal intentions should be repatriated. He expresses concerns about Jamaica inadvertently importing violence due to illegal activities between Haiti and Jamaica, alleging that illicit exchanges, such as drugs for guns, exacerbate the existing gang problems in both countries.


Recent events, including the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise in July 2021 and the subsequent discovery of a former Haitian senator, John Joel Joseph, hiding in Jamaica, have heightened authorities’ awareness of security threats originating from Haiti.

Joseph was extradited to the USA and sentenced to life imprisonment for involvement in Moise’s assassination.

Jamaica has faced challenges with Haitian migrants arriving by boat, prompting the government to repatriate them due to security concerns.

Forbes stresses that his intention is not to disparage his compatriots but rather to caution against indiscriminate acceptance of asylum seekers.

Reflecting on his own migration journey, Forbes explains that he left Haiti in 2009 seeking better opportunities, escaping political instability, unemployment, poverty, and inadequate healthcare and education systems.

While he has found stability in The Bahamas, he remains concerned about his loved ones in Haiti who endure dire conditions.

Forbes calls on the Jamaican government to resist extending aid to Haiti’s acting Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, cautioning against supporting a leader he deems illegitimate. He alleges that Henry’s pursuit of power amidst widespread opposition exacerbates the country’s turmoil, implicating those in authority in perpetuating violence.

In conclusion, Forbes urges Jamaican authorities and society to exercise discretion in assisting Haitian refugees, emphasizing the importance of discernment amidst complex geopolitical and humanitarian challenges affecting both nations.