Brutal increase in violence in Haiti

GRupos from gangs of armed men have forced nearly 8,500 women and children from their homes in the Haitian capital in the past two weeks.

Attacks and threats against families who have their homes burned and looted in impoverished communities to the limit are housed in gyms and other temporary shelters.

They are running out of water, food, blankets and clothing.

One of the refugees complained:“The gangs chase us and shoot us. I have eight children and my wife with me, so I came here to survive.”

Violent gangs gangs control about 60% of the country’s territory. There have been 12 massacres since 2018.

For UNICEF, the damages are equivalent to LOS from a guerrilla war. Bruno Maes, representative of Haiti to the UN agency for children, detailed the situation:“The fact is that since June 1 we are witnessing an incredible acceleration of violence that has spread to Belropas (the capital’s neighborhood) and to all these combats between armed groups. Some of these displaced people joined these centers, such as the Center Sportif de Carrefour_. Some of them remain in Fontamarra and others are spread over three sites in Delmas 8, Delmas 6,4 and 2. We have 7,000 people there and 5,000 in Delmas are women and children. “_

Nearly 14,000 people in Port-au-Prince have been displaced by violence in the past nine months, according to the UN office that oversees humanitarian coordination.

Businesses and schools have closed and public transportation has ceased in the communities most affected by the violence, including Martissant and parts of Delmas, with few entering or crossing the area for fear of being killed.

Many fear that violence will escalate as Haiti prepares for the general elections scheduled for September and November: They accuse gangs of trying to boost support for certain candidates and of attacking neighborhoods that organize protests against the current president Jovenel Moïse.

In addition to infiltrating rival neighborhoods, gangs have attacked police stations in recent weeks, killing several officers.

They have also robbed businesses and on Monday fired on a car dealership as customers and employees fled.

Doctors Without Borders explained that its emergency center in Martissant received more than 40 patients with gunshot wounds from June 2 to 4 alone, and that its employees have had to take cover from stray bullets.

There is more fear of a bullet than of covid. people do not seek medical help for fear of being injured or killed if they leave their home. Vaccines have not yet arrived in Haiti.