Gang war in Haiti’s capital kills at least 3 police officers
At least three police officers died in the violence, one was missing and another was treated in a hospital for gunshot wounds, police confirmed on Friday evening.
Fighting continued throughout Friday and tensions remained high on Saturday.
The United Nations estimates that 60% of Haiti’s capital is controlled by gangs, but many locals say gang warfare has spread beyond the fringes and into most of the city.
The country has been grappling with rampant violence for years, but it came to a head after the 2021 murder of former President Jovenel Moïse plunged the country into anarchy.
Powerful gangs have taken advantage of the political chaos and discontent with the current government led by Prime Minister Ariel Henry to further consolidate their control.
The government failed to control the violence, forcing many people to flee their homes and causing an increase in gang rapes and murders.
Observers expect the bloodshed to worsen, particularly after the country’s last 10 elected officials ended their terms in the Senate in early January, leaving parliament and the presidency vacant due to the failure of Haiti to organize elections. Critics say this has turned Haiti into a “de facto dictatorship”.
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