Jimmy Chérizier and fellow gang members (file image)
Former elite police officer Jimmy Chérizier, known as Barbecue, has taken control of Haiti. Image by AP PHOTO

Grisly ‘cannibalism’ video recooked amid civil unrest

Tom Wark March 20, 2024
WHAT WAS CLAIMED

A video shows a Haitian gang member engaging in cannibalism amid the ongoing unrest in the Caribbean nation.

OUR VERDICT

False. The video appears online as far back as 2021 and is unrelated to the current unrest.

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A crisis-plagued Caribbean nation has become the subject of a gruesome misinformation campaign.

A video circulating on social media supposedly shows recent footage of a gang member eating human flesh amid the ongoing political crisis in Haiti.

This is false. The video’s exact origin is unconfirmed, but it has appeared in social media posts as far back as 2021 and is unconnected to the current turmoil.

The claim appears in multiple Facebook posts linking the video to the gang takeover of the Haitian government, as seen here and here.

A screenshot of one of the Facebook posts.
 Misinformation is being posted about unrest in Haiti. 

A more general claim that “cannibal gangs” are taking over Haiti is also spreading. Elon Musk is among those to share such claims, amid a warning of a mass migration of Haitians to the US.

In the video in question, a man is seen chewing on what appears to be a finger before the camera pans around to seemingly show a human leg on an open fire.

One post’s caption reads: “It’s not beef jerkey (sic) … Yes what you’ve been hearing about Haiti is true.”

The user also writes: “Biden’s open border will bring the cannibals here soon enough,” referencing the US government’s humanitarian program allowing people from four nations, including Haiti, to live and work in the US. 

However, the video is not related to the current unrest and can be found posted online as far back as November 2021.

The footage appeared in X/Twitter posts here and here from 2021 and 2022.

AAP FactCheck could not confirm the video’s exact origin, but a freelance journalist says it shows a Haitian gang member in the Artibonite Valley several years ago.

AAP FactCheck could also not verify if the video actually depicts cannibalism.

Cannibalism claims have increased in Haiti following the rise of Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier to the “most powerful man in Haiti”.

Chérizier’s gang, the G9 Family and Allies, has risen to the top of the power structure in Haiti following mass violence in the capital Port-au-Prince and the resignation of Haitian prime minister Ariel Henry.

Many posts (examples here and here) suggest his nickname is linked to cannibalism. However, this is not supported by reliable sources. Instead, his nickname supposedly comes from his mother’s famous grilled chicken.

The Verdict

The claim a video shows a Haitian gang member engaging in cannibalism amid the ongoing unrest in the Caribbean nation is false.

The video has appeared in social media posts as far back as 2021 and is unconnected to the current turmoil.

AAP FactCheck was unable to verify if the video actually depicts cannibalism.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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