Organizers of the Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival recently
announced that the music event has been postponed. The reason given was an
increase in gang activity in the Haitian
The festival, usually held in January, brings together musicians from more
than 12 countries every year.
Milena Sandler is director of the Haiti Jazz Foundation which organizes the
festival. She told the French News Agency, "We can't take the risk, either for
the 150 musicians or for our teams or for the
Sandler added, "We have been thinking for a while now that it would be
difficult...to stage a festive event in this
In recent months, gangs have gone beyond the poorer areas of Port-au-Prince
and have increased the number of
Their control over the capital regularly prevents secure access to oil
stations. As a result, fuel shortages have harmed the transportation industry.
Many hospitals, businesses and schools have been forced to reduce their
The United States and Canada have suggested that their citizens living in
Haiti have an emergency plan to leave the
Sandler is hopeful that the music festival will take place sometime in
"If the situation in the country does not allow for the usual format of
concerts over eight days, we will still have something and it won't be virtual,"
Sandler added that the festival's Haitian and international partners were
considering a program for the end of
The only time the festival has been canceled was in 2010. That year, a huge
earthquake severely damaged Port-au-Prince and other towns on January 12,
killing more than 200,000
I'm Jonathan Evans.