Haiti Capital City Taken Hostage By Brutal Gangs And In A Bad State
It used to be a sign of hope. Haiti was the first country in the Caribbean and the first country that was black to declare independence. Now, Haiti capital city taken hostage and it only stands for death and hopelessness.
The poorest country in the Western hemisphere, it has been destroyed by both natural and man-made disasters, is plagued by disease and hunger, and is now overrun by gangs. Since President Jovenel Moise was killed last year, there hasn't been much of a government here, and the killer hasn't been caught.
In this power vacuum, hundreds of well-organized and very violent criminal groups have moved in. These groups often have ties to politicians and police, so they are free to kidnap, kill, and do horrible things like gang rapes.
Haiti Capital City Taken Hostage By Brutal Gangs
Port-au-Prince: Haiti's capital city taken hostage by brutal gangs - BBC News
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/haiti-capital-city-taken-hostage/ by Daisy-Mae Schmitt on 2022-12-06T10:20:21.287Z
You can't see the lines in Port-au-Prince, but you have to know where they are. It could save your life. In the Haitian capital, people are being kidnapped, raped, and killed at will by rival gangs. They use blood to mark their territory. If you go from the territory of one gang to that of another, you might not make it back.
People who live here have a mental map of this crowded city that divides it into green, yellow, and red zones. Green means there are no gangs there, yellow can be safe today but dangerous tomorrow, and red means you can't go there. As armed gangs get stronger, the green area is getting smaller.
Human rights groups in Haiti say that armed groups terrorize at least 60% of the capital and the area around it. They put up walls around the city and control the roads in and out. And the UN says that between January and June of this year, gangs killed almost 1,000 people here.
Some readers may be upset by some of the things in this report, like sexual violence.
Port-au-Prince is nestled between green hills and the blue waters of the Caribbean. It is hot and hasn't been cared for. In some places, the trash is up to your knees, a smelly sign of a state that is falling apart. The last head of state was killed while in office, there is no working parliament because the area around it is controlled by gangs, and the US-backed prime minister, Ariel Henry, was not elected and is very unpopular.
In reality, the state isn't doing anything, and the people are going through multiple crises at the same time. Almost half of the people in Haiti, or 4.7 million people, are very hungry. The UN says that about 20,000 people in the capital are living in conditions that are like famine. This has never happened before in the Americas. Cholera is back and killing people again. But armed gangs are the most dangerous thing.
Here is where they set the time. Between 6:00 and 9:00 in the morning, during rush hour, is when most people are taken, hostage. Many of them are taken off the street as they walk to work. Others are attacked during rush hour in the evening, from 15:00 to 18:00.
About 50 of the people who work at our downtown hotel don't go home because it's too dangerous. Few people here go out at night. The building's manager says he never leaves.
The business of kidnapping is on the rise. The UN says that between January and October of this year, there were 1,107 cases that were reported. For some gangs, it's a big source of money. Prices for ransoms range from $200 (£164) to $1 million (£819,740).
Most people who are kidnapped come back alive if the ransom is paid, but they have to go through a lot. Gedeon Jean, who works at Haiti's Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights, says that men are beaten and burned with things like melted plastic.
Men are beaten and burned with materials like melted plastic. Women and girls are subject to gang rape. This situation spurs relatives to find money to pay the ransom. Sometimes kidnappers call the relatives so they can hear the rape being carried out on the phone.
- Gedeon Jean
According to the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, many people who couldn't find stable jobs joined gangs, which started to gain more and more power and influence around 2018.
At one time, it represented a ray of sunshine. Haiti is notable for being the first independent black republic and the first independent Caribbean country. Since then, it has come to represent nothing but death and gloom.
Haiti's capital city has been hit hard by natural and manmade calamities, is wracked by sickness and famine, and has been taken over by violent street gangs.