Haiti’s Youth Minister Condemns Murder of National Karateka

Haiti's Minister of Youth, Ronald Gérard D’Mezard

Minister of Youth, Ronald Gérard D’Mezard, has condemned the murder of Sensei Gaddafi Saphir, the national trainer of Kyokushin—karate without protection.
Police confirmed that Saphir, who was also an inspector-instructor of the Haitian National Police and a member of the SWAT Specialized Unit, was shot several times on September 3.

D’Mezard paid tribute to Saphir’s “great contribution to the development efforts of the sport and services rendered to the nation.”

Saphir was described as a “very committed leader of the Haitian Federation of Kyokushin” and was a member of the Haitian team that participated in the world championships in Japan.

Meanwhile, police have gone on alert after members of G9, a grouping of several gangs, has issued an ultimatum to the government to release, no later than Monday, their leader, Albert “Djouma” Stevenson, who was arrested on September two by agents of the territorial unit of the airport police station during a routine check.

The group is warning that if their demands are not met, their members will block the road leading to the airport as well as engage in other criminal activities.

Last week, the Canadian government urged its nationals to stay away from Haiti citing violent criminal attacks in the capital, since mid-August 2020.

In a travel advisory, Ottawa said that these violent incidents have resulted in deaths and injuries and as a result “the Haitian national police may increase its presence in response to the climate of insecurity in the capital.

“If you are in Port-au-Prince, remain vigilant at all times [and] follow the advice of local authorities. The security situation is unpredictable. The number of violent incidents, including attacks, armed robberies and kidnappings, have increased since December 2019, both in Port-au-Prince and in other provincial towns,” the advisory noted.


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