UN: Gang Violence in Haiti Kills 70 in 5 Days

Published: 26 April 2023

Haiti UN CorpsA woman checks the body of a deceased victim in Port-au-Prince. (Photo: UN Photo/Logan Abassi, Flickr, License)

By Vinicius Madureira

The U.N. has said that insecurity in Haiti has reached “alarming levels” due to gang violence, which has resulted in 70 deaths and 40 injuries between April 14 and 19.

The situation in a densely populated area in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, has left women and children vulnerable to brutality, according to the U.N. Office for Humanitarian Affairs.

The Office reported that among the 70 victims were 18 women and two minors, with many more injured by bullets or knives.

The ongoing conflict has made it difficult for people to move around freely and access essential goods and services, with many schools and hospitals in the area being closed, leaving people feeling besieged.

Ulrika Richardson, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti, said that “fighting is raging,” and Haitians “can no longer leave their homes for fear of gun violence and gang terror.”

The Haitian people have been terrorized with random gang shootings, sexual violence against women and girls, and kidnappings for some time.

According to Marta Hurtado, the spokesperson at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, snipers have killed or injured most of the victims by indiscriminately shooting at people in their homes or on the streets.

Aside from the violence, people are also dealing with high levels of food insecurity and a recent cholera outbreak. Waste is completely blocking access to some parts of the capital, making it impossible for vehicles, including water trucks, to access some areas. A recent torrential rain has only worsened the sanitary and living conditions, making some places a breeding ground for disease.

Richardson stressed the importance of unimpeded access for humanitarian aid, as well as the protection and respect of critical personnel and infrastructure, including water supply. She appealed for people in Haiti to be able to safely access basic services, commodities, and humanitarian assistance.