• 52'
  • Authors : Charles Comiti, Cyril Thomas, Daniel Grandclément, Stéphane Haumant
  • 16-05-2021
  • Master : 3062

HAITI: GANG LAW | M6 | Enquête Exclusive

There are 76 different gangs officially identified in the country. To finance themselves some have turned to kidnapping. In the month of April, two French clergymen were held for 19 days and released after a ransom was paid. Ten people are kidnapped every day on the streets of Port-au-Prince. This permanent climate of insecurity is triggering a veritable psychosis among the French. The most powerful gang boss in the country is nicknamed “Barbecue”. His speciality:  burning people alive in their houses. He leads a federation of 9 criminal organisations in the capital. We met him. The gang warfare is also political. A few months out from the presidential elections, certain armed groups are said to provide muscle for the sitting powers and others for the opposition. This employment of violence by politicians is an old refrain in Haiti. From the 1950s to the 70s, the dictator François Duvalier had his militia, the sadly famous Tonton Macoutes. (His son, Jean-Claude, employed them until his fall in 1986). In the early 2000s, left-leaning president Jean-Bertrand Aristide hired henchmen to terrorize the population, the “Chimères” street gangs. For half a century the country has been bankrupt. The 2010 earthquake didn’t help matters. 300,000 dead, 300,000 injured according to the authorities. The billions provided in international aid have mostly vanished into the thin air of corruption. New shanty towns have sprung up on the hills of Port-au-Prince. In the poor neighbourhoods, the gangs have gradually replaced the state. The current president, Moïse Jouvenel, governs by decree. He no longer has a parliament. A large part of the country considers him to be illegitimate. A descent deep into a country on the brink of chaos where gangs call the shots.

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