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News > Haiti

5 Haitians Shot Dead During Gang Clash In Martissant Town

  • Gangs disable passage through the streets, Haiti, 2021.

    Gangs disable passage through the streets, Haiti, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @caribbeannewsuk

Published 3 December 2021 (7 hours 40 minutes ago)
Opinion

The Grand Ravine and God Village gangs fought the Ti Bwa gang leaders, whom they accused of staying in their territory.

On Wednesday, five Haitians traveling through Martissant town in public transport were shot dead during clashes between the Grand Ravine, God Village, and Ti Bwa gangs, the last of which was supported by citizens armed with knives.  

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The Grand Ravine and God Village members fought the Ti Bwa leaders, whom they accused of staying in their territory. Although citizens traveling in vehicles did not intervene in the attack, the gang members shot at them to prevent them from asking for help.

As soon as the driver found an opportunity, he took his passengers to Fontamara and Bizoton towns, from which he called the police. Specialized officers traveled to Martissant town to control the situation, which remains very tense since the gang members far outgun the local police.

The gang leaders said they will only end the armed clashes in this town if they were given US$300 and not disturbed anymore, but citizens argued that the criminals will never fulfill any promise.

Although gangs have had control of poor Haitian neighborhoods for a long time, their armed clashes increased significantly after former President Jovenel Moise took office in 2017.

"The Moise administration weakened the Police and the Justice system. Since there were hardly any airport controls, arms trafficking increased considerably in the country," Haitian National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RHDDH) Director Pierre Esperance stated and condemned that Moise used the gangs to massacre citizens who opposed to him.

Currently, these criminal groups control over half of the Haitian towns, where they operate as de facto governments with their own "shutdowns," "police stations," residential fees for electricity, and school permits for children.

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