It’s now “Gang Rule” in Haiti

Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry

The wide road that passes in front of Haiti’s Toussaint Louverture International Airport has a post-apocalyptic stillness these days. Where cars and crowds of people once massed, only tendrils of smoke rise from smoldering piles of trash, sending a bitter taste into the air.

An armored police vehicle hulks nearby; the few police officers on watch cover their faces with balaclavas. This street looks nearly abandoned, as if in the wake of a disaster – an experience that people in Port-au-Prince know better than most. But leaving the city isn’t an option this time; the airport, under siege by gangs, has been forced to close.

Since the start of the month, criminal groups have been attacking with unprecedented coordination the last remnants of the Haitian state – the airport, police stations, government buildings, the National Penitentiary. The culmination of years of growing gang control and popular unrest, their joint assault forced Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign last week, a stunning capitulation that has nevertheless proven futile in restoring calm.

Port-au-Prince’s gangs are still choking off the supply of food, fuel and water across the city. Perhaps the last functional part of the state, Haiti’s National Police, continue to fight, battling to reclaim ground block by block across the city. But the very life of the city they are fighting for seems to be waning, as intensive urban warfare grinds down on basic human ties.

The social fabric is fraying as businesses and schools stay shuttered. Many residents self-isolate, afraid to leave their homes. Some have turned to vigilantism. Fear, mistrust, and anger reign. Death is on everyone’s mind.


What Are Your Thoughts?


Chuck comes from a lineage of journalism. He has written for some of the webs most popular news sites. He enjoys spending time outdoors, bull riding, and collecting old vinyl records. Roll Tide!