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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Haiti. Gang fights with police. Hundreds of prisoners escaped from a prison in the capital

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For several days, gang clashes with state services have been taking place in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. Hundreds of inmates escaped from a state prison in the city on Saturday, according to CNN. The police warn that if the enemies succeed, “it will be the end” and “no one will be spared in the capital.” Earlier, the leader of the coalition of gangs that control 80 percent of the capital, Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier, announced that he intended to overthrow Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

Police from Haiti appealed on social media for all officers in the capital to have access to cars and weapons to help the police fight to maintain control over the prison, and warned that if the attackers succeed, “that will be the end” and “no one in the capital will will be spared.”

Several security sources in Port-au-Prince told CNN that the latest wave of violence, which began on Thursday and targets police stations, the international airport and the national penitentiary, is unprecedented in recent years.

People gather around a prison in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Photo from March 3, 2024 PAP/EPA/Johnson Sabin

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Gang Coalition Leader: We Ask Haitian Police and Military to Take Responsibility

On Friday, Haitian gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, also known as “Barbecue,” said he would continue his efforts to overthrow Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

“We are asking the Haitian National Police and military to take responsibility and arrest Ariel Henry. I will repeat once again: society is not our enemy; armed groups are not your enemy. You are arresting Ariel Henry in the name of the liberation of the country,” Cherizier said. quoted by CNN.

Cherizier, a former policeman, announced in September 2023 that he intended to overthrow the authorities and that the fight against the government would take place “with weapons” and by all possible means. He also declared that the international community had no right to defend Henry, who heads the interim government established after the president’s assassination.

Street fires in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 1, 2024PAP/EPA/Johnson Sabin

READ ALSO: The leader of the gang coalition announces the overthrow of the prime minister. “Keep the children at home”

Chaos in Haiti

Haiti has been hit by a wave of unrest and gang violence in recent years. Riots in Port-au-Prince escalated this week as the prime minister traveled to Kenyawhich agreed to take command of the mission to stabilize Haiti, financed mainly by USA.

Gangs in Haiti, which have long grown in power taking advantage of the chaos that engulfed the country after the great earthquake of August 2021 and the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in the same year, are terrorizing much of its territory.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister had to call on the international community to send military aid as the country was descending into complete chaos.

Security Council UN in October 2023, it adopted a resolution that authorized a military mission “not officially representing ON” to operate in Haiti. Kenya is the only country that has agreed to take command of such an operation and intends to send 1,000 troops to Port-au-Prince. policemen, who should be joined by contingents from other countries.

Haitian gangs are probably the best armed criminal organization in Latin America and, given the helplessness of the state, much more efficient and effective in their operations, say UN experts.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Johnson Sabin

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