October 19, 2021

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Gangs complicate Haiti’s recovery after the massacre

Gangs in Haiti have long been financed by powerful politicians and their allies, and many of them feel like they have lost control of the increasingly powerful armed groups who have displaced thousands of people from their homes while fighting. Regional battles, civilian killings and food attack warehouses.

It is likely to escalate the escalation of mob violence and threaten to complicate political efforts to recover the nation from the assassination of President Joval Moss a few days ago.

The Haitian government is disorganized: there is no parliament, no president, there is a dispute over who is prime minister, and its police force is weak. However, the gangs seem to be more organized and stronger than ever.

Although violence has accumulated in the capital, Port-au-Prince, it has affected lives throughout Haiti, paralyzing the weak economy, closing schools, drowning police and disrupting efforts to fight the Govt-19 epidemic.

In a recent statement, the Haitian Religious Conference condemned the rise in violent crime, saying “the country has been transformed into a vast desert surrounded by wildlife.” “We are refugees and deportees in our own country.”

The gangs recently stole thousands of sacks of sugar, rice and flour, in addition to looting and burning houses in the capital. It has caused thousands of people to take refuge in churches, fields and a gym, where the government and international donors are struggling to feed them and find long-term shelters.

Disabled IDPs were forced to flee when gangs set fire to a camp where they were injured in an earthquake in 2010 last month.

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“I was running for my life on the field on these crutches,” said Obas Volki, 44. “The bullets were flying from different directions … I could only see the fire in the houses.”

Volki was one of more than 350 people stranded in a makeshift shelter converted into a school, where no one wore masks to protect themselves from disease, especially COVID-19.

Before the creation of the UN’s second peacekeeping mission in 2004, experts noted that the violence was the worst in almost two decades.

Programs aimed at reducing gang activity and the aid flow after the earthquake helped alleviate some of the problems, but once the money and aid programs were completed, the gangs tried to extort money by hijacking the businesses and neighborhoods they controlled.

Part of these gangs are funded by powerful politicians, which was recently denounced even by one of their beneficiaries: Jimmy Sergier, a former police officer who leads a coalition of gangs known as the G9 Familia y Aliados.

Currently, Martisand, a community in southern Port-au-Prince, the epicenter of gang violence, connects its main highway capital with southern Haiti.

Fear of drivers being stuck in a crossroads or worsening has completely paralyzed trade relations between the two regions, forcing international organizations to cancel plans including raising prices, delaying food and fuel transportation and distributing cash to more than 30,000 people. , UN Convention on the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. According to the July 1 report of the office.

The agency says more than a million people need immediate humanitarian assistance and protection.

Usually the economy does not help. The UN estimates that the price of a base basket rose by 13% in May compared to February, and that foreign direct investment fell by more than 70% from 2018 to 2020, from $ 105 million to $ 30 million. In a country where 60% of the population earns less than $ 2 a day and 25% less than a dollar a day, this is reflected in fewer jobs and higher poverty.

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Many fear that gangs could disrupt elections scheduled for September and November, which are crucial in restoring the functioning of the legislative and executive branches, which are now largely dying after Moss’ assassination.