US has few options to deal with Haiti’s violence crisis

Washington and international partners have few options to deal with a deadly surge in gang violence and for-ransom kidnappings in Haiti.


World News

October 20, 2021 - 9:42 AM

A man films himself in front of tires on fire during a general strike launched by several professional associations and companies to denounce insecurity in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021.(Richard Pierrin/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

Citizens are afraid to leave their homes. The security forces are weak. Armed gangs, known for kidnappings, extortion and random killings, act with impunity as they tighten their grip throughout Haiti.

With the brazen kidnapping of 16 Americans and one Canadian over the weekend on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince highlighting Haiti’s disintegration into chaos, Washington and its international partners are realizing that there are few good options in confronting the deadly surge in gang violence and for-ransom kidnappings.

The Biden administration has already faced one crisis after another in the Caribbean nation: an electoral crisis with no parliament or locally elected officials; an assassinated president; a devastating earthquake; a surge of Haitian migrants at the U.S. southern border and now the taking of American hostages.

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