Haiti: Gangs Rule


October 15, 2005: Some one hundred criminal and political gangs continue to dominate most of the country. Over 1,500 people have died in political violence alone, so far this year, and peacekeepers and police are only able to cover parts of the country, for short periods of time. The gangs fight to protect their turf, and run those areas for their own benefit. In effect, there is no government in most of the country, and there is little prospect of that changing any time soon.

October 12, 2005: After months of complaints (by local and international media), fifteen policemen have been arrested for killing six (or ten) suspects during a round up of suspected criminals last August.

September 30 2005: The UN is using some 3,000 peacekeepers (about half the force) to try and pacify the most lawless districts in the city. It's from these areas that the most active criminal gangs operate, The biggest problem is kidnapping. In the last three months, there have been at least 140 kidnappings in the capital. Kidnappings have been declining (from 55 in July to 41 in September), but the gangs still have an edge. Police made only 136 arrests in the last three months, and seized 36 guns.


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