GOOD

Fabienne Lips-Dumas

Before I went to Cité Soleil, an impoverished community near Port-Au-Prince of close to half a million souls, I had a good idea of where I was going. A search on the Internet was enough to give you chills—a slum plagued by gang violence and squalor. News was about fights between gang factions and murders like the brutal shooting of the director of the sole radio station, radio Bookman, “the voice of the voiceless.”

So when I met with activist and folk singer Barbara Guillaume at the U.S. Institute for Peace and she told me that she was running for mayor of Cite Soleil in the next election, I was bewildered. What do you mean, Mayor of Cité Soleil?
The memory of the no law zone where gangs had taken over the police station rushed in and I was captivated. I wanted to tell this story. So I went, and what I found was very different from what I expected.

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