The upsurge and expansion of violence finds no brake in Port-au-Prince, where the intense urban war between gangs has left at least 39 dead in the last two weeks, as well as 8 missing and 68 wounded, according to figures released this Thursday.
With these data, the most recent Civil Protection bulletin in Haiti doubles the number of deaths compared to the official balance of last April 27, as a result of the clashes for control of the territory, waged by the 400 Mawozo and Chen Mechan gangs, conflicts that were unleashed on April 24.
The conflicts broke out in the Croix-des-Bouquets neighborhood and, in recent days, have spread to Cité Soleil, Bajo Delmas and Martissant, from north to south of the Haitian capital.
The urban war has caused the burning of at least 23 houses, 48 schools and five medical centers; Eight markets have closed their doors and the largest fuel depot in the country, the Varreux terminal, has been paralyzed.
Thus, the lack of fuel complicates the difficult situation of the inhabitants of these neighborhoods, from which at least 9,000 people have fled seeking safety in squares in the capital and in other provincial towns.
WOUNDED BY WAR
The Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in the Tabarre neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, "has seen a sharp rise in the number of seriously injured" received in recent days, the head of the organization’s mission in the country, Mumuza Muhindo, told Efe, although without specifying the exact number of people served.
The Tabarre hospital is inside the conflict zones and both the staff and the patients "can hear loud gunshots outside the hospital most days"he indicated.
Given the situation, for workers "it is extremely difficult to get to work and they are clearly under a lot of pressure. Many take long turns to reduce their movements"Muhindo said.
"Patients also face great challenges in getting to the center, with some having to wait more than 24 hours to find transportation to reach the medical center."he added.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, SURROUNDED BY THE BANDS
The main accesses to Port-au-Prince are seized by armed groups that are fighting over the territory due to the inaction of the authorities, unable to stop the escalation of insecurity, which was exacerbated by the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July last year.
For two weeks, 400 Mawozo and Chen Mechan have been disputing the territory at the northern entrance of Port-au-Prince, a war that was joined last Monday by an attack perpetrated by the G9 Fanmi and Alye coalition of gangs in the neighborhood of Bel-Air, in the heart of the capital, burning houses and schools.
June 1 will mark a year since the Martissant neighborhood, at the southern entrance to Port-au-Prince, came under the control of armed gangs that are fighting over the territory, forcing those who want to go to or return from the south of the country to use dangerous alternative routes.
INACTION BY THE AUTHORITIES
The Citizen Protection Office (OPC), a national and independent institution for the promotion and protection of human rights, denounced the Government’s indifference to the situation in the main conflict zone.
"There is no message or action from the Government or the Superior Council of the National Police. These gestures demonstrate the inability of the authorities to react, leaving it to the armed gangs to decide on the life and death of citizens."criticized the OPC in a statement.
From the entity, the State was urged "to take swift and urgent measures to restore order and peace in the communes of Croix-des-Bouquets, Cité-Soleil and in the neighborhoods of Martissant" so that its inhabitants can carry out their activities "freely and carefree".