Haiti gang violence deaths surge in 2024, UN report says

Haiti gang violence deaths surge in 2024, UN report says

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Gang violence in Haiti has killed over 1,500 people so far this year while dozens have been lynched by so-called self-defence brigades, the U.N. human rights office said on Thursday.

Haiti’s devastating gang wars have intensified in recent weeks with heavily-armed rivals unleashing fresh waves of attacks, including raids on police stations and the international airport. Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced his resignation on March 11.

“All these practices are outrageous and must stop at once,” the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said in a statement released alongside a U.N. report describing the “cataclysmic” situation in the Caribbean country.

The report documents 4,451 killings last year and 1,554 through to March 22 as violence has escalated. Deaths resulted from killings in residents’ homes due to civilians’ alleged support for the police or rival gangs or in densely-populated streets due to crossfire or snipers, the U.N. report said. In one case, a victim was a three-month-old baby.

In addition, 528 people suspected of links to gangs were lynched last year and a further 59 this year by armed brigades aspiring to fill a security void left by police, the U.N. rights office said.


Reporting by Emma Farge Editing by Miranda Murray and Rachel More

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