Haiti

Haiti: Situation Report: Gangs and the Haitian State, 12 November 2021

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This document provides an analysis of the current situation and the implications for aid agencies.

As Haitian gangs grow in influence, the humanitarian space for NGOs is shrinking.
As larger gangs’ influence grows, the risks that NGOs and international personnel are targeted rises.

SUMMARY

  • Armed gangs have controlled Haiti, especially the poorest districts of the capital Port-auPrince, for many years.

  • Gangs are seeking to fill the current void in governance and are capitalising on the chronic insecurity to build local support, particularly in Port-au-Prince’s major slums.

  • The largest and most powerful of the roughly 95 gangs battling for supremacy is at present the ‘G9’.

  • Port-au-Prince is currently the main area for gang related incidents – closely followed by its suburb Croix-des-Bouquets.

  • Although therewas a significant decrease in incidents in July, data fromAugust and September show an increase in reported incidents, with the 400 Mawozo gang being at the centre of many events.

  • NGO organisations experience the most significant threat from gangs in the capital, with G9 and other gangs controlling highway R2. Their increasing power has implications for logistics and access to the earthquake and hurricane-affected Tiburon peninsula.

  • Kidnapping remains the most high-profile threat in Haiti, though it should be noted that poorer locals are targeted farmore frequently than expatriates despite the far smaller ransomincome.

  • Losses fromlooted food warehouses amount to severalmillion dollars in goods and equipment this year alone. Such lucrative attacks are LIKELY to continue.

  • Further targeting of expatriate INGO workers or missionaries for kidnap/ransom, theft and extortion is LIKELY as the payment of ransoms encourages more attacks.

  • Gangs will become evermore powerful and gang leaders such as Jimmy “Barbecue” Chérizier are LIKELY to gain more prominence and attempt to achieve official political recognition.