In Haiti, an angry mob in the capital Port-au-Prince lynched more than ten people and set their bodies on fire. Police say the victims are believed to be gang members.
The lynching happened after police pulled over a van full of armed men yesterday and seized weapons, ammunition and phones. According to the police, passers-by lynched more than ten people. That would have happened with car tires that were doused with petrol. It is not clear how the incident, apparently in front of officers, could have happened.
Images from international news agencies show charred bodies, with smoking tires and other objects on them. People watch in shock.
The images can be experienced as shocking:
Police confirm that the detainees were “unfortunately lynched” by residents of the city. A witness from the AP news agency saw thirteen bodies in the street.
The lynching is indicative of the anger over gang violence. In recent months, the situation in Port-au-Prince has deteriorated further, with many fights between officers and gang members. Hundreds of people died in bloody confrontations and thousands of people lost their homes.
Nearly 70 people were killed in gang fighting between April 14 and 19 alone, according to the United Nations. Due to all the violence, many schools and health institutions have been closed. The police say they understand the anger of the population, “but the cooperation we are looking for must be done without violence,” said a spokesperson.
Haiti’s gangs have been gaining influence since 2021. That year, President Moise was assassinated. Large parts of the capital and the rest of the country have become lawless. According to estimates, criminal groups are in charge in about 80 percent of the capital. There would be 200 gangs active. Conditions in Haiti were already very bad after the devastating earthquake in 2010.
The Haitian government and top UN officials want an international force to be sent to Haiti to support the police. Last month, the UN said violence in Haiti is becoming “increasingly violent and frequent”.
- Haiti gang violence kills nearly 200 in two weeks, UN calls for troops
- Haiti police officers riot in the streets over an unprecedented high number of murders among colleagues
- Chaos and violence have plagued Haiti for more than a month