“At least 89 people were murdered and 16 others are missing,” the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights said in a statement, adding that the partial assessment of this violence also reports “74 wounded by gunshot or ‘White weapon”.
Since Thursday, bursts of automatic weapons crackle all day long in Cité Soleil, the most disadvantaged and densely populated commune in the metropolitan area: two gang factions clash there without the police, in lack of men and equipment, does not intervene.
Along the corridors of slums that have formed there over the past four decades, thousands of families have no choice but to hide in their homes, without being able to get water and food.
Some residents are victims of stray bullets even inside their modest homes, made of simple sheet metal, but ambulances are not allowed to circulate freely in the area to help the injured.
“We call on all the belligerents to allow the passage of relief to Brooklyn (name of the district of Cité Soleil where the violence is concentrated, editor’s note) and to spare the civilians”, urged Wednesday Mumuza Muhindo, head of mission of Doctors without Borders.
– “Battlefield” –
Hampered in its operations to evacuate victims, the humanitarian organization has nevertheless operated on around fifteen injured people per day on average since Friday, in its hospital located near Cité Soleil.
“Along the only road to Brooklyn, we encountered rotting or burnt corpses,” Mumuza Muhindo added.
“It may be people killed in the clashes or trying to flee and who have been shot. It’s a real battlefield.”
These deadly clashes between gangs affect all activities throughout the capital because it is in Cité Soleil that the oil terminal that supplies Port-au-Prince and all of northern Haiti is located.
Throughout the capital, service stations no longer distribute a drop of fuel, drastically driving up prices on the black market.
Angry at this situation, motorcycle taxi drivers erected a number of barricades on Wednesday across the main roads of Port-au-Prince.
Faced with this spontaneous movement, only short trips by motorcycle within the neighborhoods were possible, AFP journalists have noted.
Subject to such hazards, the inhabitants of the capital struggle to organize their daily activities, already hampered by the risk of kidnapping.
For more than two years, gangs have multiplied villainous kidnappings in the city, kidnapping people of all socio-economic origins and all nationalities.
Enjoying widespread impunity, the criminal gangs have amplified their actions over the weeks: at least 155 kidnappings were committed in June against 118 in May, reported the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights, in its latest report released on Wednesday.
– Exile in the face of kidnappings –
Many Haitians who can flee to the Dominican Republic or the United States. Many, having neither the economic means nor the visas, risk their lives by boarding makeshift boats, hoping to reach Florida.
Many end up on the Cuban or Bahamian coasts or are stopped at sea by the American Coast Guard.
More than 1,200 irregular migrants were returned to Haiti in the month of June alone, according to statistics from the National Migration Office.
On their return, they rediscover their difficulties in surviving, gleaning small informal jobs in a country where annual inflation has crossed the 20% mark for three years already.
Faced with the consequences of the war in Ukraine on the world economy, this rate could exceed 30% by the end of the year, warn economists.
“We are seeing a significant increase in hunger in the capital and in the south of the country, with Port-au-Prince being the hardest hit,” said Jean-Martin Bauer, director of the World Food Program (WFP) on Tuesday. Haiti.
To bypass the outlying areas of Port-au-Prince, in the hands of gangs, the UN agency uses airways and sea routes to send aid to the south and north of the country.
Nearly half of the 11 million Haitians already suffer from food insecurity, including 1.3 million who are facing a humanitarian emergency situation preceding the stage of famine, according to the WFP classification.