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Gang Violence in Haiti

Billy Vue

Mar 19, 2024

The small country of Haiti, located in the Caribbean, is causing a huge stir in the world as of late. Gang violence has got to such a point where it is becoming unbearable for the government to handle.  

Throughout the month, armed gang members have attacked and terrorized the people throughout the country’s capital, Port Au Prince. Earlier in the month, gangs swarmed the largest prisons in Haiti, resulting in the freeing of over 4,000 inmates. The last attack occurred in the nicer neighborhoods of the capital, leaving 12 dead.  

Diving into the reasoning for the attacks, the gangs have made political demands, calling for the current Acting Prime Minister of Haiti, Ariel Henry, to resign.  

The country was left in turmoil after the assassination of Former President Jovenel Moïse. Before the passing of President Moïse, he appointed Ariel Henry as Prime Minister. This left a lot of questions as to who was in power, but ultimately ended with Henry serving as both Acting Prime Minister and Acting President of the country.  

Now, due to the ongoing violence and pressure, as well as the demands of the gangs, Henry stated, “My government will leave immediately after the inauguration of the council. We will be a caretaker government until they name a prime minister and a new cabinet “. Henry plans to resign once there is a new system in place. The influence that the gangs of Haiti have on the politics are undeniable. The violence in the little country is only mounting and gaining more traction from the media.  

In a security alert issued by the U.S. Embassy in Haiti on March 18th, it states, “Only U.S. citizens will be eligible for departure assistance at this time.  From the Dominican Republic, U.S. citizens must make their own travel arrangements to their final destination.” (U.S. Embassy in Haiti). The government offers a flight from Port Au Prince, Haiti, to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. This is a double-edged sword, as it gets our citizens out of the line of fire, but in turn, also involves us in the issue.  

Laura Richardson, the commander of the U.S. Southern Command, released a few statements regarding the issue. She reassured us that our goal was to save the people, stating, “We want to be able to do what's right and humane and be able to take care of the populations that are trying to escape the crisis,". Although we remain off of Haiti land, she also stated, “We continue to watch the situation very, very closely”. Seemingly ready to strike if needed, it is assuring to know that we hold good intentions in a bad time. 

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