The repeated assaults of a gang against the inhabitants of a district of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince left 30 dead, including 2 police officers, 4 missing and more than a dozen injured, according to the provisional assessment of a human rights organization.
Since Tuesday, thousands of residents have fled the Carrefour-Feuilles district, a strategic district for the gangs, which control a large part of this poor country ravaged by insecurity.
The gang behind the attack, led by Renel Destina (or Ti Lapli), looted and burned houses. Some of the victims were killed with automatic weapons.
The report of the violence in Carrefour-Feuilles was provided to AFP by the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH). “These data were compiled after the testimonies of the parents and relatives of the victims whom we met”, explained the executive director of the RNDDH, Pierre Espérance.
A resident, Dominique Charles, told AFP that she had lost her mother, her stepfather, her 18-year-old son, two sisters and a brother in these attacks.
“The assailants attacked our house with Molotov cocktails. I was able to escape, but the other members of the family did not have this chance”, she declared while coming to testify at the headquarters of the RNDDH.
Since the beginning of the week, this violence has caused the flight of more than 5,000 people according to Jerry Chandler, director general of the Haitian Civil Protection.
They left Carrefour-Feuilles on foot, on motorbikes or crammed into cars, some trying to carry a handful of personal belongings, a suitcase on their heads or mattresses on the roof of the car. Among them, “women, children, old people”, explained Jerry Chandler.
These thousands of displaced have found refuge in schools or a sports center, others in the street, with or without makeshift tents for shelter. The authorities announced Thursday that they have started distributing hot meals and drinking water to the victims.
Haiti has been stuck for years in a deep economic, security and political crisis, which has reinforced the hold of gangs. These armed gangs control about 80% of the Haitian capital and violent crime is frequent.