Fact Check: Footage Does NOT Show Cannibalism In Haiti During 2024 Coup

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: Footage Does NOT Show Cannibalism In Haiti During 2024 Coup 2018 Movie Set

Does a viral video capture an act of cannibalism in Haiti in mid-March 2024? No, that's not true: It shows a movie set in Nigeria. The video also predates this year's political crisis in Haiti. The clip started to circulate in 2018.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on X, formerly known as Twitter, on March 11, 2024. It said:

More footage of Haitian cannibalism. This time a group of Haitians boiling a whole human b0dy. Now u understand why Dominicans wants to keep their border closed.

This is what the post looked like on X at the time of the writing of this fact check:

Screen Shot 2024-03-15 at 1.12.23 PM.png

(Source: X screenshot taken on Fri Mar 15 17:12:23 2024 UTC)

The 10-second, low-quality video attached to the post showed a man squatting in front of what seemed to be a cauldron with blurred contents that look red. An image search led to more explicit keyframes from the same video. In those images, the contents of the pot looked like human body parts.

However, the video is not from 2024.

In 2018, a Nigeria-based man named Onilogbo Hakeem, listed (archived here) as one of two people responsible for special effects makeup in the movie "Omambala,"wrote (archived here) the following about the video with the pot:

For those who think this guy is a cannibal, concerning the video going viral on the internet, we are here to clear the air, and to disclaim the allegation....my name is Hakeem effect a special effects makeup artist from Nigeria, ,,and we are on the set of Omambala!!!!! Pls the bloggers who started all this should try and start another publication to clear the air about the fake cheep advertising you've made few days ago.

Hakeem, known professionally as Hakeem Effect (archived here), identified the man in the red hat from the video with the cauldron as Uche Mbachu. Hakeem added:

...the guy in question is a set and props manager.

Screen Shot 2024-03-15 at 4.00.03 PM.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Fri Mar 15 20:00:03 2024 UTC)

Mbachu's account on Instagram describes (archived here) his occupation in four phrases: "Nollywood props and set. Makeup effect Production Manager Street Interviewer."

France 24 (archived here), the French government-owned TV network, reported in 2018 that the same video with the pot was falsely claimed to show cannibalism in Cameroon.

By all accounts, the footage predates Haiti's mid-March 2024 crisis (archived here) over the resignation of its prime minister, Ariel Henry, and the gang warfare that led up to that decision.

Lead Stories contacted Mbachu and Hakeem for additional comments. When we receive their responses, this story will be updated as appropriate.

Other Lead Stories fact checks of claims about Haiti can be found here.

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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