PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) – The United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) says at least 94 residents were killed and more than 120 injured by gunfire while 12 others disappeared in less than three weeks of fighting between rival gangs in the north and west of the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area.
The BINUH has released a report on the deadly wave of violence that broke out between April 24 and May 16 this year involving two gang coalitions battling to take control over specific areas of the communes of Cité Soleil, Croix-des-Bouquets and Tabarre.
“In addition, at least 96 gang members were killed or wounded. Dozens of cases of sexual violence were also reported. Besides, nearly 16,000 people were forced to flee their homes to take refuge in make-shift sites or the home of relatives.”
BINUH said that armed with assault rifles, but also with machetes and gas cans, gangs spared no one.
“Women and children as young as one year old were executed and their bodies burned. Young teenagers, accused of spying for the opposite side, were shot in public spaces. Rape against women and girls, some of whom were less than 10 years old, was used as a weapon to terrorise and take revenge on the local populations living in neighbourhoods controlled by rival gangs,” BINUH said.
According to the report, the criminal groups responsible for these acts of violence, known as “Chen Mechan” and “400 Mawozo,” with the support of their respective allies, the “G9 in Family and Allies” and the “G-Pèp, showed their capacity to launch coordinated and simultaneous attacks in several neighbourhoods of the capital.
The report also highlights that the coalitions between gangs are not new in Port-au-Prince as they had become a prominent issue during the administration of President Jovenel Moïse.
Moise was assassinated on July 7 last year and several former Colombian army officers have been arrested in connection with his murder. However, Haitian authorities have not charged anyone with his death.