UN Claims Haiti Police Need Assistance in Combating Growing Violence

A United Nations (UN) special envoy issued a warning on Thursday that Haiti’s police force requires rapid assistance to combat crime and violence.

According to Helen La Lime, UN’s highest official in Haiti, insecurity in the country of more than 11 million people was rapidly deteriorating, with nearly seven kidnappings reported every day.

“The pervasive, deepening sense of insecurity — exacerbated by the seeming inability of the Haitian National Police to address the situation — “is dangerously fraying the rule of law in the country,” La Lime added.

More than 200 homicides and 198 abductions were reported in May alone, La Lime claimed. 

Two busloads of youngsters and three UN employees were among those kidnapped. 

According to the UN Security Council, one local staff member was killed in a crossfire between gangs. 

The warning came just days after a group looted and burned case files and evidence at the Court of First Instance in the capital, Port-au-Prince. 

Dubbed “5 Seconds” by authorities, this gang has a reputation for committing a crime within 5 seconds. 

The 5 Seconds gang has control of the Village de Dieu slum in front of the courthouse they were after.

Arnoux Descardes, Executive Director of the Volontariat pour le Développement d’Haiti, shared La Lime’s assessment of such issues and emphasized the importance of pursuing individuals involved in smuggling, the illegal arms trade, and financial crimes. 

To prevent corrupt money from affecting electoral campaigns, the Haitian National Police must undertake effective operations to remove gangs, and the government should form a Provisional Electoral Council while ensuring financial assistance for political parties. 

Descardes also emphasized the importance of revisions to Haiti’s Constitution, particularly the articles controlling terms of office, power balance, and participation of Haitians residing abroad in the country’s political, economic, and social sectors.

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