In Haiti, a “car wash” party degenerates in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic

At least one person was killed in Port-au-Prince on Sunday 19July during a police operation to spread a “car wash” party, banned for health reasons. These holidays, which are very popular during the summer in the capital, are in the hands of the Haitian authorities, especially during this period of the Covid-19 pandemic.On the week of July 13, the commissioner of Port-au-Prince officially banned “car wash parties” by decree, parties that bring together hundreds of people who splash water to the rhythm of the DJ’s lively music. In the capital, these festivals had already been banned by the mayor in August 2019.

But despite this ban, hundreds of detectives gathered on Sunday 19 July on rue de l’Enterrement, in the center of the capital, leading to police intervention.

According to Haiti standard, quoting witnesses, the party took place in peace when police intervened at the scene and opened fire to disperse the participants. For his part, the Government Commissioner, Jacques Lafontant, claimed that it was the party’s participants who opened fire first, including killing a person. Investigation opened to establish facts.

Several videos posted on social media show dozens of people fleeing the car wash party by running and screaming when shots are fired.

In this video posted on the Passion Info Plus channel, the participants in the “car wash” party are fleeing.

“Haitians live as if pandemic does not exist”

According to our Port-au-Prince observer, Niepce Zéphirin, who warned our editorial staff about the incident, the “car wash” parties are a reflection of ruthlessness in Haitian society in the midst of a pandemic:

Screenshot of a video showing a “car wash party” in late June020.

For about a year, this phenomenon has appeared in the country. It is a deterrent activity that carries most of the Haitian youth, and aims to entertain young people: they spray each other with water, during the discount rhythm. [le rabòday est style de musique très populaire en Haïti, NDLR]Opinions are divided on these festivals, which are held every week during the summer season.

For some, it is a way to turn off steam and entertain themselves. For others, it is an immoral activity because young girls will dance naked, which according to some people violates modesty.

This video was taken during a car wash party with a DJ in front of a large audience last weekend.

Since the incident on July 19, no new “car wash” party has been planned. But our observer Niepce Zéphirin doubts the effect of the government decree:

We are facing a situation where the majority of decisions made by the state are not respected. You need a strong state to be able to restore order and discipline in the country.

As of July 21, 2020, a total of 7,100 cases of Covid-19 for 151 deaths have been registered in Haiti. Article written by Sophie Stuber (@sophiestube)