State of Emergency Declared After Thousands of Inmates Escape Prison

State of Emergency Declared After Thousands of Inmates Escape Prison

( – On March 3, Haiti’s government declared a state of emergency for 72 hours due to violent armed gangs that attacked two prisons on March 2. Almost 3,600 prisoners, including murderers, escaped into the communities of the nation, according to Patrick Boivert, the Finance Minister of Haiti.

The statement for the emergency declares it is during the night, from dusk until dawn, in the western area of Haiti, which includes Port-au-Prince, the capital of the nation. The curfew will be enforced until March 6, but may be renewed.

The gangs attacked Haiti’s two biggest prisons, located in Croix-des-Bouquets and Port-au-Prince. They made a demand for the nation’s prime minister, Ariel Henry, to resign. He is currently meeting in Kenya with the UN to seek assistance for a security force for his nation.

From the attacks on the two prisons, only about 100 prisoners remain locked up out of the estimated 3,700 prisoners total, per Arnel Remy, a lawyer specializing in human rights.

Boivert stated that the police union ordered all officers to initially assist with the prison attacks and then to help enforce the emergency curfew. They were told to use whatever legal means they had to apprehend any of the escaped prisoners and the gangs that attacked the prisons.

The police union also made a statement that the two cities are in danger with 3,000 violent criminals loose. They also warned that there were several reported shootings in the Capitol.

Haiti has lived with violence since Jovenel Moise, their president, was assassinated in 2021. That was when Henry took over to serve as Haiti’s president. According to the UN, there were almost 5,000 murders in 2023.

The leader of one gang, the G9 Family and Allies Alliance, is Jimmy Cherizier. He was a previous police officer who stated that he was responsible for the latest violent outbreak. According to news reports, he claimed that the goal of the recent violence is to unseat the current president, Henry.

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