Latest wave of insecurity in Haiti attrutibuted to gang wars

Ivan Simonovic of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights informed The Associated Press recently that he had learned from Haitian officials that the latest wave of insecurity, specially in Port-au-Prince, has been a result of gang warfare. The information was provided to him by Haitian police officials as well as Mr. Jean Renel Sanon, Justice Minister in Haiti.


Also record from United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti indicated that last July was the most violent Month for the past two years. However, something very interesting happened at the same time. The level of kidnapping decreased remarkably during that same Month.

Last July, U.N. and Haitian Police recorded 134 murders, compared to 75 in July, 2011. Kidnapping cases have decreased on average from 14 to 10 for the same period

What explained these sharp variances?

Does that mean the gang members are now developing different strategies. If so, to what end?

Is there any plan to decrease gang influence in Haiti?

There is a close relationship between gang and insecurity in Haiti such as kidnapping, murder, robberies, drug trafficking, money laundering, just to name a few. As long as these groups are allowed to conduct their businesses freely in the country, we will not be more secure.

A background video about Gang in Haiti:

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Some facts about Haitian gangs:

Many gangs in Haiti are usually based in slums and connected to kidnappings, harassment and terror carried to the population. They involve young men usually heavily armed.

Gang leaders are usually wanted by the police but feared by the population. They develop close ties to their community, preoccupation with turf.

Gang leaders usually tap into deep and widespread sense of discontent by the neighborhood with the government or their economic situation.

Local residents often rely on gangs for loans or handouts. Gang leaders often play the "Godfather" role in the neighborhood. To many in the area however, gang activities only represent dangers and insecurity. Sometimes Gang activities would prompt many of those terrified parents to keep their children hidden at home.
Gang are very powerful. They have run Haiti right alongside the politicians because the Haitian state is so fragile.

Politicians sometimes receive the support of gang who help them get elected. Gang members sometimes benefit from Haiti's troubled politics by being paid as guns-for-hire as well.

Some former government leaders in Haiti resorted in distributing weapons to gang members in exchange for their support. Often these weapons are found later in crime activities

Some high Haitian officials have been involved in negotiation with gang members in the past. It is a well known fact that Former Haitian president, Rene Preval, at one point was heavily involved in negotiation with gang leaders, inviting them at times to face-to-face meetings at the presidential palace.

Powerful elites from across the political spectrum exploited gangs as instruments of political warfare, providing them with arms, funding, and protection from arrest.

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Read more: Jean Renel Sanon, gang, security, crime, wars, insecurity, weapons, Security Crime Law and Order

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