Nearshore Americas
Thousands of Haitians Flee their Homes as Gang Violence Grows

Thousands of Haitians Flee their Homes as Gang Violence Grows

Criminal gangs now control 60% of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, forcing Haitians to flee their homes out of fear, according to the United Nations.

Gangs are “weaponizing very appalling levels of sexual violence,” Ulrika Richardson, the UN Humanitarian Chief in Haiti, said at a press conference.

According to US media reports, more than a thousand people in Haiti died due to gang violence in the first six months of this year alone.

Up to 20,000 Haitians have fled their homes so far, while cholera and food shortages continue to worsen living conditions in the impoverished former French colony.

Volker Turk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, called on the international community to show “political courage and responsibility” to tackle what he calls “endemic impunity.”

Gang violence is nothing new in Haiti, but growing social inequalities amid political instability have left criminals free to do as they please.

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There are reports of gangs raping women and children in front of their family members to force them to cooperate.

“High levels of armed violence […] has weakened the health system’s ability to respond to an outbreak of cholera,” the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a press release on Tuesday.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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