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The murder of 14 police officers in Haiti deepens the chaos in the Caribbean country


Dozens of alleged agents block streets and paralyze the airport in protest. Prime Minister Ariel Henry insists on calling for an intervention by international forces

The murder of 14 police officers in just over three weeks has raised tension in Haiti, a country hit by different crises, each one more serious.

This Thursday, dozens of alleged agents blocked avenues in the capital, Port-au-Prince, with burned tires.

In addition, the airport was paralyzed at the same time that Prime Minister Ariel Henry was returning from a trip abroad.

Henry, in office since mid-2021, criticized for remaining in office without holding elections, has insistently called for the support of international forces to maintain order.

Chaos seizes Haiti.

The ravages of the 2010 and 2021 earthquakes, which left tens of thousands dead, the various cholera outbreaks in recent years, the assassination of the president, Jovenel Moïse, in 2021, and the growing power of criminal gangs have led the Caribbean country to the limit, as few times before.

The protests this Thursday, coordinated by an organization of police officers and former agents known as Fantom509, as reported by the Associated Press (AP), fuel uncertainty about the future.

People pass through a blocked street during the protests on January 26, in Port-au-Prince (Haiti).Johnson Sabin (EFE)

The flame that has ignited the discomfort of the agents has been the murder of six of the 14 agents this Wednesday, in Liancourt, some 100 kilometers north of the capital.

In videos shared on social networks mentioned by the AP and the local newspaper Le Nouvelliste, members of a local criminal gang, Baz Gran Gif, pose with the corpses of police officers and their weapons, as if they were war trophies.

The bodies have not yet been recovered.

The murder of these six agents occurred just days after the death of three others, near Petion Ville, one of the few wealthy neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince.

On January 20, members of another criminal gang ambushed a group of five officers in Metivier.

Three of them died and despite the police call for help, help never came, AP explained.

The trickle of attacks is constant.

Haiti's National Human Rights Defense Network counts 78 agent assassinations since July 20, 2021, the date Prime Minister Henry came to power.

July and August 2021 appear in the country's recent memory as the last breaking point.

On July 7, hitmen assassinated President Moïse in his bed, precisely in Petion Ville, in a crime that has already left more than 40 detainees and is still awaiting trial, wrapped up in suspicions about the possible involvement of current government officials .

On July 20, Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon Moïse had chosen to lead the government, was sworn in.

On August 14, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the country again.

Helen La Lime, while speaking during the UN Security Council meeting on the Haiti crisis, on January 24. Manuel Elías/ONU (ONU/EFE)

In this year and a half, the situation has not stopped getting worse.

As the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Haiti, Helen La Lime, explained this week, “violence related to the actions of criminal gangs has reached levels not seen in decades.

Murders and kidnappings are on the rise, increasing last year for the fourth consecutive year: in 2022 the country registered 1,359 kidnappings, more than double the previous year, for an average of four a day.

Murders also increased, adding a third more than the previous year, to 2,183.

La Lime pointed out in his speech the need to address the institutional crisis and celebrated the signing of an agreement, by a wide range of political, religious and business actors, so that Haiti finally has an elected government by February of the year that comes.

The possibility of the arrival of an international armed force in the country could help make the agreement a reality, but at the moment there are no countries that offer to lead the coalition.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-01-27

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