All posts tagged: Port-au-Prince

Haiti police bolster security around palace ahead of transition

Haiti police bolster security around palace ahead of transition

[ad_1] PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti —  Haitian police deployed tear gas to move people back from a security perimeter around the National Palace while soldiers gripping rifles patrolled the international airport’s diplomatic entrance on Tuesday, ahead of a planned change of government. The palace has come under repeated fire from gangs that have paralyzed the capital, Port-au-Prince. A nine-member presidential transition council is to be sworn in at the palace, and although no date has been announced, rumors circulated that it could happen this week. The council is expected to name an interim prime minister and help set up a government that will eventually organize elections in the Caribbean island nation. “Whether or not you’re installed, this message is for you: Brace yourselves,” gang leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier ominously warned in a Tuesday video shared on social media. FILE – Jimmy Chérizier, a former elite police officer known as Barbecue who leads the G9 and Family gang, walks away after speaking to journalists in the Delmas 6 neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, March 11, 2024. Cherizier has …

Gangs Target Suburbs in New Round of Attacks on Haiti’s Capital

Gangs Target Suburbs in New Round of Attacks on Haiti’s Capital

[ad_1] PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti —  Armed gangs launched new attacks in the suburbs of Port-au-Prince early Wednesday, with heavy gunfire echoing across once-peaceful communities near the Haitian capital. Associated Press journalists reported seeing at least five bodies in and around the suburbs, and gangs blocked the entrances to some areas. People in the communities under fire called radio stations pleading for help from Haiti’s national police force, which remains understaffed and outmatched by the gangs. Among the communities targeted in the pre-dawn hours were Pétion-Ville, Meyotte, Diègue and Métivier. “When I woke up to go to work, I found I could not leave because the neighborhood was in the hands of the bandits,” said Samuel Orelus. “They were about 30 men with heavy weapons. If the neighborhood had mobilized, we could have destroyed them, but they were heavily armed, and there was nothing we could do.” By Wednesday afternoon, another victim had been reported: a police officer killed in broad daylight in a Port-au-Prince neighborhood known as Delmas 72, according to the SYNAPOHA police union. As …

Politicians Seek New Alliances To Lead Haiti

Politicians Seek New Alliances To Lead Haiti

[ad_1] PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti —  Haitian politicians started pursuing new alliances Wednesday, seeking a coalition that could lead the country out of the gang violence that has fueled lawlessness, closed the main airport and prevented embattled Prime Minister Ariel Henry from returning home. Haiti remained largely paralyzed, with schools and businesses still closed amid heavy gunfire blamed on the gangs that control an estimated 80% of the capital, Port-au-Prince, where several bodies lay on empty streets. The country’s two biggest prisons were also raided, resulting in the release of more than 4,000 inmates over the weekend. Henry faces increasing pressure to resign, which would likely trigger a U.S.-supported transition to a new government. One new political alliance involves former rebel leader Guy Philippe and ex-presidential candidate and senator Moïse Jean Charles, who told Radio Caraïbes on Wednesday that they signed a deal to form a three-person council to lead Haiti. Philippe, a key figure in the 2004 rebellion that ousted former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, returned to Haiti in November and has been calling for Henry’s resignation. …

Haitian Police Say Gangs Overwhelmed, Killed 4 Officers; City Center ‘at War’

Haitian Police Say Gangs Overwhelmed, Killed 4 Officers; City Center ‘at War’

[ad_1] PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti —  Haitian police were overwhelmed by a series of coordinated violent attacks by gang members across the capital in which four officers were killed, a national police spokesperson said Friday. The attacks Thursday in Port-au-Prince were led by gunmen who opened fire on targets including Haiti’s international airport and seized control of two police stations, prompting people to flee dozens of communities in fear as schools and businesses closed. “The situation yesterday was horrible,” spokesperson Garry Desrosiers said in an interview with Radio Caraibes. “The city center was at war.” Jimmy Cherizier, a former elite police officer known as Barbecue who now runs a gang federation known as G9 and Family and Allies, claimed responsibility for the attacks. He said the objective was to capture Haiti’s police chief and government ministers and prevent the return of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who was in Kenya to push for the United Nations-backed deployment of police from the East African nation to fight gangs in Haiti. Neither the police chief nor government ministers were injured …

Widow of assassinated Haitian president indicted over his killing

Widow of assassinated Haitian president indicted over his killing

[ad_1] The widow of assassinated Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was among the 51 people indicted in connection to the 2021 killing on Monday, a major step forward for the case nearly three years after the fact. Martine Moïse, ex-prime minister Claude Joseph and the former chief of Haiti’s National Police Léon Charles were the most notable of those charged with crimes, alongside the mercenaries that went through with the attack and a number of the president’s closest aides. Moïse was killed in a raid on his Port-au-Prince home in June 2021 by a group of 28 foreign mercenaries, mostly Colombians. Martine Moïse was also shot during the attack but survived. The president’s bodyguards were unharmed, raising suspicions that they were in on the assassination. The killing sent Haiti into political turmoil, which is only expected to worsen with news of the arrests. The country is crumbling under surging gang violence and violent protests demanding the resignation of Moïse’s eventual successor, Acting President and Prime Minister Ariel Henry.  The 122-page report listing the charges is the …

Top religious leaders in Haiti denounce kidnapping of nuns and demand government action

Top religious leaders in Haiti denounce kidnapping of nuns and demand government action

[ad_1] PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince pleaded for the release of six nuns kidnapped last week and demanded that Haiti’s government crack down on gang violence, in a strongly worded letter released Monday. The Archdiocese, along with the Haitian Conference of the Religious, said in the letter that Haitians are tired of the “reign of terror” imposed by armed groups and called on government officials to protect people and their property. “On many occasions, the Church has denounced their silence, which is similar to an attitude of contempt for people’s suffering,” the letter stated. Religious leaders said they were distressed to witness that there has not been a serious response to what it called a scourge of kidnappings for more than two years. They said the ongoing violence has “plunged the country into an increasingly confusing and chaotic situation” as they called for the safe release of the kidnapped nuns without conditions. The nuns and two other people were traveling aboard a bus in Port-au-Prince when they were kidnapped last Friday. No …