Gangs Attack Prisons in Haiti, Thousands Escape Amid Rising Violence and Political Turmoil



In Haiti, a state of emergency has been declared as the nation faces escalating violence, with gangs attacking two prisons, leading to the escape of thousands of inmates and resulting in dozens of deaths and injuries. The attacks are part of a demand for the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry, amid a backdrop of increasing gang control over the capital, Port-au-Prince, since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021. The Haitian government is struggling to regain control, with gangs now estimated to control up to 80% of the capital. Prime Minister Henry was seeking international support for a multinational peace mission at the time of the attacks.

  • The Haitian government has declared a state of emergency due to escalating violence.
  • Gangs demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Ariel Henry attacked two prisons, allowing thousands of inmates to escape.
  • Violence in Haiti has reached unprecedented levels since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021.
  • Gangs now control an estimated 80% of the capital, Port-au-Prince.
  • Prime Minister Ariel Henry was abroad seeking support for a multinational peace mission when the attacks occurred.
  • Former officer turned gang leader, known as “Barbecue,” has played a significant role in orchestrating the attacks.
  • More than 3,500 prisoners are believed to have escaped during the attacks on the prisons.
  • The Haitian National Police and military are overwhelmed, and the country faces a vacuum of institutional power.
  • Many gangs have united for the first time, using sophisticated tactics including drones.
  • The violence is both politically motivated and criminal, with the population largely disillusioned with the current government.
  • There is no clear plan for post-violence recovery, with discussions around an international mission led by Kenya but no agreement on a transitional government of national unity.
  • Conditions of poverty and lack of future prospects for young men have contributed to the rise of gang membership.
  • An international intervention may become necessary to prevent complete collapse and chaos.

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