On Thursday, members of the Haitian armed group known as “Kraze Barye” shot dead four people and injured several others in the Fort-Jacques neighborhood in the Petion-Ville commune.
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They opened fire on residents for no apparent reason, forcing citizens to flee their homes. Among the fatal victims were the National Television driver Nadal Senate, his brother, and a bodyguard of former President Jocelerme Privert.
Gang-related violence has severely increased since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in July 2021. Last year, international organizations reported about 2,000 murders, 1,000 kidnappings, and the forced displacement of some 155,000 people in Haiti.
On Jan. 27, the National Police launched the Tornado 1 special operation to counteract gangs. Since then, the “Kraze Barye” leader, who is known as “Vitelhomme Innocent," has sought to gain control over new areas to escape security forces.
So far, he has gained control of the Doco, Fort-Jacques, and Metivier neighborhoods, where his gang killed at least three police officers. Other armed groups have developed similar attacks with the same intent.
On Wednesday, gang members shot dead four people at Delmas 31 bus station and killed five others in Morne Hercules and Carrefour areas. National Palace protocol chief Marc Mazile and the Health Ministry's communication director Jeanty Fils Exalus were also kidnapped.
“Every day that passes, the country sinks a little more. At present, who would not dare to say that the National Police is overwhelmed by events? While it is true that it has made efforts to counteract this situation, it has not still found the solution to this scourge that plagues the Haitian population,” journalist Leandro Leolly pointed out.