One of the conclusions of a comprehensive United Nations report released on Wednesday was that gangs in Haiti run schools, clinics, and foundations in place of a government that is becoming less and less present.
The 156 page report, which was written by a panel of U.N. experts, stated that “gangs are getting stronger, richer, better armed and more autonomous,” pointing to lucrative arms trafficking, primarily from the United States that supplies gangsters with lethal arsenals. The panel also criticised the UN arms embargo as “ineffective” and mentioned that few nations comply with requests to trace seized firearms.
Fighting has escalated in important northern farmlands, and gangs have concentrated, gathering in the capital behind the G9 and G-Pep coalitions.
The study came to the conclusion that rape is a common tactic used by gangs to control food sources, intimidate and threaten victims, and demand money. They are also held accountable for hundreds of kidnappings and indiscriminate killings, for which they have demanded ransoms of up to $500,000 from foreigners and well-known individuals.
Leaders have projected good images by leveraging societal roots. According to the article, they utilise social media to show off their opulent lifestyles and to incite fear by posting videos of torture and mutilations.
The national police force of Haiti, underfunded, is “grossly understaffed” and “ill-equipped and ill-trained.”
Hundreds of alleged gang members have been put to death by the vigilante self-defense group known as Bwa Kale since April. The report also accuses the movement of committing crimes and splitting off into other gangs.
The gangs in the Caribbean country have risen to prominence in the last several years, causing millions of people to go hungry and leading to internal displacement and mass migration.
Although the UN recently approved the deployment of an international force at the government’s request to assist Haiti’s police, not many nations have committed troops, and the force has not yet materialised.