A well-known LGBT activist was found dead in Haiti and human rights organizations have called for an investigation.
Charlot Jeudy was pronounced dead on Nov. 25 in Pétion-Ville, outside the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Jeudy’s death was called “suspicious.”
“We call on the police to carry out an immediate, credible and transparent police investigation into the death of Jeudy Charlot. Haiti must protect LGBTIQ people from violence,” said Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, who added she knew Jeudy to be a ''bold” and “fierce” advocate for his community.
The Washington Blade reports a source in the Dominican Republic said Jeudy had “received his share of death threats.” The Dominican Republic shares the Hispaniola island with Haiti in the Caribbean Sea.
Michele Sison, a career foreign service officer, serves as the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti. Haiti currently has a level three travel advisory which recommends people to reconsider visiting the country. The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a statement on Jeudy’s passing:
“The U.S Embassy in Port-au-Prince laments the untimely passing of Mr. Charlot Jeudy, President of Kouraj. We deeply regret the loss of such a tireless advocate for human rights and equality in Haiti and we believe that his memory will live on in the values and principles to which he dedicated his life. We offer our sincere condolences to his friends, family, and colleagues,” the statement, issued Nov. 25, read.
Jeudy, 46, was the leader of Kouraj, a Haitian LGBT organization. Kouraj partnered with the United Nations on a project to reduce discrimination and homophobia in Haiti, reported Radio Canada.
Here is a video interview with Jeudy in Montreal, Canada during Pride activities.
Haiti is a former French colony which has suffered under deforestation, a massive earthquake in 2010 and disease. In 2018, the CIA estimated Haiti’s population at 10.7 million, noting the estimate took into account the country’s “excess mortality due to AIDS.”
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation put out a statement that the global healthcare provider “mourned” Jeudy’s death. AHF operates four treatment clinics in Haiti. Through its governmental and non-governmental partnerships, AHF supplies 19,000 Haitians with critical antiretroviral treatment.
Jeudy’s passing was felt far away in France. French politician and HIV/AIDS activist Jean-Luc Romero tweeted the conditions of Jeudy’s death are disturbing and offered condolences to the Haitian LGBT community.
“Some parts of the islands are not always very gay friendly although it’s much better than it used to be,” a source in Martinique told SFGN on Dec. 1.