HOME People & Events

Gang crisis in Haiti continues to worsen day by day

2024.03.28 17:52:55 Aiden Roh

[Photograph of the Haitian flag. Photo credit to Pixabay]

Throughout March and previous months, Haiti’s embattled government has faced issues with rising gang violence across the nation.


Criminal gangs, exerting more authority than Haiti’s own security forces, have boldly attacked prisons and the main airport in the capital and fueled further instability.


In the capital city of Port-au-Prince alone, many businesses and educational institutions have been shut down while an estimated 15,000 people were forcibly displaced from their residences.


One of the most recent attacks occurred after Prime Minister Ariel Henry departed for Kenya to seek UN-backed deployment to suppress the gangs.


Prominent gang leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier announced that his gang, along with others, will join together in an effort to force Prime Minister Henry’s resignation.


Earlier in the month, Finance Minister, now acting Prime Minister, Patrick Boivert, declared a state of emergency and is now working to regain control of the situation.


Cherizier is said to be fighting for the working class people, amidst the power struggle between the rich and the poor citizens of Haiti.


The violent situation in Haiti has built up over the years due to government corruption andinstability within the government.


Devastating earthquakes in 2010 and 2021 have also contributed to low public morale and high political unrest.


This entire situation can be traced back to 2021 with former Prime Minister Jovenel Moïse, whose administration was marred by economic problems and political crisis before his tragic assassination.


It was then that current Prime Minister Henry took over, but the state of Haiti still hasn’t improved.


It wasn’t until recently that the United States had to intervene in the situation after an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince.


U.S. forces were flown into the capital to begin evacuation procedures at the embassy and act as extra security for nonessential personnel.


A statement has been released indicating the United States will remain focused on supporting the Haitian police and arranging UN-authorized security deployment, but those efforts are inconclusive.


Prime Minister Henry’s attempts to receive UN-backed deployment of Kenyan police forces while in the country were also unsuccessful.


As a result, the Haitian government is on the verge of collapse, with a high chance that gangs could overrun the capital if nothing is done about it.


If this problem continues to escalate, Haiti and its government could end up resembling a less extreme version of Afghanistan with the Taliban.


International assistance appears scant, with the United States and Kenya refraining from direct involvement, leaving other Caribbean nations to delegate the crisis and explore potential solutions for support.


In summary, Haiti is on edge, with the balance of power heavily in favor of criminal gangs, as the beleaguered government struggles to assert its authority in the face of growing difficulties.

Aiden Roh / Grade 8
Fremont Middle School