Unrest Escalates in Haiti as Thousands Protest Against Rising Gang Violence
Escalating Protests Against Gang Violence in Haiti
Monday witnessed escalated tensions in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, with massive protests erupting against increasing gang violence plaguing the country. Last week’s death of a police officer at the hands of these groups sparked a torrent of public unrest, bringing thousands to the streets.
Protest turns combustive
Protesters, many masked, resorted to extreme measures of setting government vehicles on fire. Expressing their demand for aid and protection, they squared off against law enforcement authorities. Reacting to this growing discord, authorities eventually resorted to using tear gas to disperse the crowds, according to eyewitnesses.
A Cry for Security Against Gang Violence
Speaking to an individual protestor, the angst against rising gangs stood evident. James, a young protestor, narrated the plight of living amidst severe threat to personal security and healthcare, underlining the widespread instances of homicides and kidnappings. “We can’t live like this anymore. The other neighborhoods are ‘gangsterized’,” he cried out in despair, reflecting the popular sentiment of abandoning homes amidst these unparalleled security challenges.
International Attention Needed
Away from the pandemonium on the ground, international bodies are distressingly waking up to this escalating situation in Haiti. The United Nations Refugee Agency has revealed harrowing statistics pointing towards a mass exodus from Haiti last year. Amidst increasing gang violence and poverty, about 73,500 people, they point out, fled the country.
More devastatingly, nearly half of Haiti’s population, summing up to 5.2 million, is in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Flags have been raised for urgent international intervention to restore stability in the country.
Burgeoning Call for Intervention
Protesters voiced their need for intervention, particularly within the Port-au-Prince area of Carrefour-Feuilles. The alarming lack of health services coupled with incessant deaths at the hands of gangs has spurred this plea for help. Protesters are indeed calling for drastic measures, such as the deployment of tanks, to combat the gang menace.
The outpouring of public anger against the perceived lack of government action to tackle the growing gang violence is a stark reminder of the grave situation the country finds itself in. Amidst calls for international intervention and increasing violence, Haiti’s path to stability remains to be seen.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.