March 4, 2024

HAITI: 4,000 Prisoners Escaped When Armed Gangs Stormed 2 Prison On Saturday. Gangs Demand The Temporary Interim Unelected Prime Minister Resign. 72-hour State Of Emergency Declared.

UPDATE 3/7/24 at 2:34pm: Added video below.

Redacted published March 6, 2024: PAY ATTENTION! This Haiti VIOLENT EXPLOSION is orchestrated by the U.S. Haiti is under a state of emergency as the country's gangs free thousands of people from prisons and are reportedly uniting to bring down Haiti's unelected Prime Minister Ariel Henry. Dan Cohen from Uncaptured Media joins us to explain what's really going on. Dan just returned from Haiti and has the real story.

*****Original post below*****   
Sky News published March 4, 2024: Haiti government calls for state of emergency after mass prisoner escape. The government in Haiti has declared a 72-hour state of emergency after armed gangs stormed into two prisons on Saturday, resulting in 4,000 inmates escaping.

Sky News
written by Staff
Monday March 4, 2024

A state of emergency has been declared in Haiti after violence in the capital led to two prison breaks as a major gang leader tries to oust the prime minister.

The government decree follows a dramatic escalation in clashes over the weekend, which paralysed parts of Port-au-Prince and temporarily downed communications.

Heavy gunfire has caused panic in recent days after calls by gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, a former police officer, for criminal groups to unite and overthrow Ariel Henry.

In a bid to restore order, a curfew will apply from 6pm to 5am each day until Wednesday, which may be extended for another 72 hours.

Armed groups attacked the country's largest prison on Saturday night, defying police forces who had called for help.

On Sunday, there was no sign of police officers at the National Penitentiary and the main prison doors remained open.

"I'm the only one left in my cell," one unidentified inmate told Reuters news agency. "We were asleep when we heard the sound of bullets. The cell barriers are broken."

It is unclear how many inmates are on the run, but sources close to the institution say it is likely to be an "overwhelming" majority.

The prison was built to keep 700 prisoners, but held 3,687 as of February last year, according to rights group RNDDH.

One voluntary prison worker on Sunday said 99 prisoners had chosen to stay in their cells for fear of being killed in the crossfire.

The bodies of three inmates who had tried to flee lay dead in the prison courtyard on Sunday, while two bodies with their hands tied behind the backs lay face down in another neighbourhood.

Among those still in the prison are 18 former Colombian soldiers who were jailed for their alleged involvement in the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, Mr Henry's predecessor.

"Please, please help us," one of the men, Francisco Uribe, said in the message widely shared on social media. "They are massacring people indiscriminately inside the cells."

On Sunday, Mr Uribe told journalists who walked into the normally highly guarded facility: "I didn't flee because I'm innocent."

Mr Cherizier had warned locals earlier this week to keep children from going to school to "avoid collateral damages" as violence surged while the prime minister sought support abroad.

Nearly 15,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in recent days, according to the UN International Organisation for Migration.

Prime Minister Henry, who came to power in 2021 after Mr Moise's assassination, had previously pledged to step down by early February.

He later said security must first be re-established in order to ensure free and fair elections.
Firstpost published March 1, 2024: Haiti Gang Boss Attempts Capturing Police Chief and Ministers. Haiti’s capital Port-Au-Prince was rocked by explosions and gunfire after mob boss Jimmi Cherizier also known as “Barbecue” attempted to capture the country’s police chief and several ministers. Cherizier says he is unhappy with Prime Minister Ariel Henry and wants to overthrow the government. The Gang leader also said that Haiti’s other gangs were united against the government. Meanwhile, hundreds of civilians were caught in the crossfire and were forced to flee.

Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany local
written by Staff
Monday March 4, 2024

Haiti's government declared a state of emergency on Sunday, following several days of violence in the capital culminating in an attack on the country's main penitentiary which left most of its inmates at large.

It said a curfew would be enforced from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. through Wednesday in the Ouest region, which includes the capital Port-au-Prince, and added that both the state of the emergency and curfew periods could be extended.

Police told to 'use all legal means'

Haiti's Economy Minister Patrick Michel Boisvert signed the government statement, deputizing for Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

Security forces had "received orders to use all legal means at their disposal to enforce the curfew and detain those who violate it," the government said.

Gang leader Jimmy Cherizier, a former police officer, has claimed responsibility for the recent violent attacks that he says aim to oust Prime Minister Henry.

They began as Henry went on a trip to Kenya, seeking to salvage a deal for the African country to lead an international peacekeeping mission in the country.

Asked in Kenya when he felt it would be safe to return to Haiti, Henry did not comment.

What do we know about the jailbreak in Haiti?

The violence came to a head overnight on Saturday with an attack on the country's largest prison.

Prison gates were open on Sunday, with no security personnel in sight. Many families of prisoners held at the facility rushed there to check on loved ones.

The facility, built to hold 700 prisoners, had some 3,687 inmates locked up as of February last year, according to the rights group RNDDH. Fewer than 100 were believed to still be inside the facility after the attack, according to NGO workers.

They included 18 retired Colombian soldiers accused of working as mercenaries in the July 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise.

In a statement on social media on Sunday, the Ministry of Communication said the attack on the prison "sought to release those who were imprisoned for acts of murder, kidnapping, and other serious crimes."

The ministry acknowledged the failure of police forces to prevent the escape of many prisoners, saying the attack left many inmates as well as prison staff injured.

Haiti's growing gang violence

The armed clashes between gangs and police come on the heels of a flurry of violent protests that were simmering for some time but ramped up in the last few days as Henry visited Kenya.

Henry, who came to power after the 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moise, had previously said that he would step down by early February and facilitate the country's first elections since 2016.

He said later that security must first be re-established to ensure free and fair elections.

According to the UN, Haiti's National Police has roughly 9,000 officers to provide security for the country's more than 11 million inhabitants.

The Kenyan policing mission followed months of failed efforts to find a country willing to lead the operation.

UN and Western-led deployments are viewed skeptically in Haiti, following past cases of child sexual abuse and a 2010 cholera outbreak that was traced back to a barracks in a country that had previously eradicated the disease.

Haiti's troubled history

A key outpost for Christopher Columbus and later both a Spanish and French colony, Haiti became the first Latin American or Caribbean country to become an independent nation in 1804.

However its lucrative plantation and slave-based economy was maintained by the winners of its war of independence.

The country also faced a century of international ostracism and crippling compensation payments to France.

It was occupied by the US from 1915 to 1934 and then spent decades under the corrupt and autocratic rule of the Duvalier family. It only began to emerge and start seeking to establish a more democratic political system in 1986.

The country also endured a 2004 coup and a massive 2010 earthquake centered to the west of Port-au-Prince that killed around a quarter of a million people. Unpaid labor is still a practice in Haiti.

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