The Stream

Haiti’s gangs: What can be done to loosen their grip?

On Wednesday, August 10 at 19:30 GMT:
In Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, hundreds have been killed in recent violence that has left residents trapped in their homes as shoot-outs between rival gangs have cut off access to basic goods and health care.

Gangs and criminal organisations have long wielded power over Haiti, but more than a year following the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, political instability has emboldened heavily armed gangs in their battle for territory.

The erosion of rule of law in tandem with dwindling economic opportunities has driven more Haitians into the influence of local gangs. Fighting has largely been in the Port-au-Prince neighbourhood of Cite Soleil, between rival gang federations G9 and G-Pep. Crimes, particularly homicides and kidnappings, have risen in the past year.

Haitian police are outnumbered and outgunned due to illegal gun trafficking, and in some cases, the government has been accused of being complicit in the rise of gang violence.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at the deadly gang violence that has gripped the Caribbean nation and what’s being done about it.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Jameson Francisque, @jamy_ht
Journalist, AyiboPost

Velina Elysee Charlier, @VelinaEC @nou_pap_domi

Jean-Junior Joseph, @jeanjuniorj
Senior advisor to Haitian prime minister