Haiti crisis

VALERIE BAERISWYL / AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

It started around noon, when male detainees inside a prison for men and women north of Haiti’s capital heard there was no charcoal or propane gas to cook their food, and began violently protesting prison conditions and attempting to escape.

By the time it was over and the jail break had been stopped by Haiti National Police, at least one inmate was dead, several others had been injured and 10 female detainees, including a 15-year-old teen girl and 62-year-old woman, had been gang raped, two Haiti-based human rights groups said.

Kisley Jeannot / COURTESY OF US EMBASSY HAITI

One man needed a hernia operation that he could not afford. A young girl came to seek help for her 3-year-old cousin whose skin was inexplicably covered with sores. And a mother of four needed help with a chronic allergy reaction.

They all took the chance to travel miles away from home to the Haitian Coast Guard base Killick on Thursday in search of medical care from the U.S. Navy ship Comfort, the floating U.S. naval hospital that arrived Monday. It was a rare calm following two months of sustained protests, burning tires and impassable barricades.

Rebecca Blackwell / AP

Amnesty International is calling on Haitian President Jovenel Moïse to guarantee the rights of Haitians who are taking to the streets to protest against his government, and to put an end to the use of excessive force by his security forces.

The human rights organization said Thursday that it has verified multiple instances of “security forces under the command of President Jovenel Moïse” using unlawful and excessive force, and it must end.

REBECCA BLACKWELL / AP

Haiti’s embattled president broke a weeks-long silence Tuesday, telling his protesting nation that while he hears their cries in the streets, he has no intentions of stepping down.

“It would be irresponsible on my part for me to stand here today, to sign and submit a letter of resignation and say ‘I am leaving’ and leave the country like this and the system regenerates itself,” President Jovenel Moïse said during an impromptu press conference on the grounds of the National Palace.

CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

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.

Rebecca Blackwell / AP

Violent protests continued to grip Haiti on Monday, as the international community urged opponents of Jovenel Moïse to enter into a dialogue with the president, who hasn’t been seen or heard from since Wednesday.

The other day, I went down to the National Mall here in Washington, D.C., and heard the sound of hope in sweet, strong, young voices.

A youth choir and chamber ensemble from Haiti are on a U.S. tour that's taken them from Maine to Manhattan to Kentucky over the past month. This stop was in a lush garden of the Smithsonian museums. The tour is meant to showcase Haiti's rich musical heritage — and to raise awareness of the country's rebuilding efforts.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Haiti is running out of fuel — again.

Gas stations are stockpiling and rationing gasoline. The poor are running out of kerosene to cook. Private power suppliers, out of diesel for the past 11 days, are reducing or ceasing production — taking Haiti’s already desperate electricity issues from bad to worse.

Courtesy Food for the Poor