Port-au-Prince’s Territories


MichelleWalz: Sunset Port-au-Prince, 2006 (CC)

From the BBC:

Port-au-Prince is nestled between green hillsides and the blue waters of the Caribbean. It is blanketed by heat and neglect. The rubbish is knee-deep in places – a putrid monument to a crumbling state. There is no head of state (the last one was killed in office), no functioning parliament (gangs control the area around it) and the US-backed prime minister, Ariel Henry, is unelected and deeply unpopular.

In effect the state is missing in action, as the people suffer overlapping crises. Almost half the population – 4.7 million Haitians – are facing acute hunger. In the capital around 20,000 people are facing famine-like conditions, according to the UN. This is a first for the Americas. Cholera has made a deadly comeback. But armed gangs are the greatest plague.

They set the clock here. Morning rush hour – between 06:00 and 09:00 – is peak kidnapping time. Many are snatched from the streets on their way to work. Others are targeted in the evening rush hour – from 15:00 to 18:00.

About 50 of the staff at our downtown hotel live in because it’s too dangerous for them to go home. Few here go out after dark. The manager says he never leaves the building.

“Haiti: Inside the capital city taken hostage by brutal gangs”, Orla Guerin, BBC

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