Written By: McKenzie Logan
Civil unrest continues to develop following the funeral held for Haiti’s former
president, Jovenel Moïse, as the nation is experiencing the difficulties that
accompany a political gridlock. However, there was a breakthrough as Haiti’s
government sworn in Ariel Henry as prime minister. One of Henry’s first
statements regarded the gang violence engulfing the nation, claiming he
aims to create unity and stability.
Regardless of this new sense of leadership, gang related chaos has showed
no signs of slowing down with over 19,000 Haitians being displaced from
violence - as a result of gangs controlling over 60 percent of Port-au-Prince.
In response to lacking support, these displaced families and individuals are
being herded into the only shelters available, large concrete buildings that
provide no level of privacy or security – leading to high occurrences of rape
of the local aid workers and civilians.
In June alone there have been roughly 150 gang-related deaths, as gang
members are characterized walking the streets with guns in hand catching
civilians, including children, in the crossfire. The various gangs extend their
influence over a critical location within the capital – the main port.
In consequence, limitations to basic needs such as clothing, food, and
medicine have grown exponentially, leading over 46 percent of the
population experiencing food insecurity – one of the highest in the world. It is
not solely imports that are being blocked, but also goods trying to get out, as
traders and buyers no longer have safe access to purchase Haitian
commodities and thereby stalling the little economy that remains.