Worsening security crisis in Haiti: A record surge in major crimes

October 23, 2023  -Haiti is grappling with a devastating surge in violent crimes, as powerful gangs increasingly dominate the country’s territories. The UN’s latest report reveals a grim picture of the nation’s security landscape, indicating that the realm of safety within the country is rapidly shrinking.

Skyrocketing rates of violent crimes

The number of major crimes is hitting “record highs,” according to the UN representative to the impoverished Caribbean nation.

Reports are that major cities such as the capital, Port-au-Prince, and the city of Gonaives, particularly in the West and Artibonite departments, are witnessing an alarming rise in indiscriminate killings, kidnappings, and other severe crimes.

The statistics paint a horrifying image: in the three months from July to September, the nation saw 1,239 homicides, a drastic increase from the 577 reported in the same period in 2022.

A kidnapping epidemic

The country has also been submerged in a kidnapping epidemic, which has seen a 244 percent increase, with 701 cases reported between July and September.

Such increasing rates of violence and crime have severely disrupted the lives of the Haitian people, thrusting the nation further into chaos and disarray.

Haitian protesters
Protesters try to flip a car to block a street during a protest against insecurity in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Aug. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)

Vigilante violence: A new terrifying normal

Adding to the mayhem are the newly emerged vigilante groups, responsible for the lynching of alleged gang members.

According to reports, the number has shockingly reached 388 between April and September, illustrating the level of lawlessness pervading the society.

International intervention: A beacon of hope

In a bid to restore order, there has been an approval for the deployment of a multinational intervention force led by Kenya.

The proposed deployment of an international mission reveals a glimmer of hope towards reviving stability in the nation, seeking to navigate through the prevailing chaos and leading the way to a more secure and peaceful Haiti.

A prerequisite for democratic progress

Restoring control through the Haitian national police is emphasized as an essential step toward creating an environment conducive to holding credible and inclusive elections – a democratic process the country has been deprived of since 2016.

The resurgence of control is seen as a vital pathway towards steadying the rocking ship of the nation and moving towards a more stable and secure future.

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