Thousands of Haitians deported from America have returned to the capital Port-au-Prince in a more dangerous situation than when they fled the region a few years earlier.
Port-au-Prince is a capital city shrouded in smoke and dust and often haunted by the sound of gunfire. Whole parts of the city were under the control of certain groups and the police force was unable to control them.
The police station has been looted. Meanwhile, a number of traffic lanes were stained with burned tires and piled up to be used as barricades. There are about 100 groups or gangs in Port-au-Prince, but no one knows the exact number of these groups. In addition, the matter of loyalty to a group is very fluid.
At least 2,334 Haitians deported from Texas have landed in Port-au-Prince in the past week, where each received between $ 15-100 in cash and “mercy” from immigration officials.
Many of the thousands of people who were deported only set foot back in the capital Port-au-Prince after several or perhaps decades of not returning.
On Saturday (25/9), a local newspaper reported 10 kidnappings in the last 24 hours. The victims included a journalist, a singer’s mother and a husband and wife driving with their child, who was left in the car.
Even before the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, Haiti’s government was considered to be quite weak, and the Justice Palace – a kind of rule of law in Haiti – was not recognized, and congress had been dissolved and the legislature was full of bullets. Now, even though the country has a prime minister, the Haitian government remains absent in resolving the problems that occur in the country.
Most residents of Port-au-Prince do not have access to basic public services. The city also lacks drinking water, electricity or garbage collection facilities.
And the deportees will join thousands of other Haitians who have been forced to flee their homes due to various acts of violence. These refugees have been living in schools, churches, sports centers and makeshift camps built among the rubble. Many of them are not even reached by humanitarian organizations.
According to the United Nations, more than 18,000 people have been displaced in Port-au-Prince since inter-group violence escalated last May. Of that number, IOM’s International Organization for Migration can only provide assistance to around 5,000 – 7,000 people. (em / jm)