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As Haiti Unravels, The Last U.N. Peacekeepers Exit After 15 years

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CHANDAN KHANNA
/
AFP/GETTY IMAGES
The United Nations Peacekeeping Force stands guard as protesters march during a demonstration against the ruling government in Port au Prince on June 9, 2019.

When the United Nations deployed 6,200 blue-helmet soldiers and 1,200 police officers in 2004 to restore order in an unruly Haiti, ruthless armed gangs freely roamed the streets, corruption ran rampant in the judiciary and the country’s volatile politics were in a free fall.

Meanwhile, the Haiti National Police, awash in drug-trafficking and corruption allegations, numbered no more than 2,500 out of the 6,300 the U.N. had trained years earlier and two-thirds of its 182 police stations had been vandalized and burned.

As the U.N. Security Council permanently ends its 15-year peacekeeping presence in Haiti Tuesday, and transitions to a much smaller special political mission featuring human rights monitors and 25 police advisers instead of the specialized, heavily armed U.N. foreign police units that had helped stabilize the country, the Haiti National Police force boasts 15,404 officers and a full-time police presence in every one of Haiti’s 145 counties.

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.