Old cars, used tires and barbed wire block much of the Haitian capital. Gangs with guns robbed, raped and murdered innocent people. Weak or corrupt police and officials do little or more. Now people are taking action, and a wave of brutal vigilante justice is sweeping Haiti, concentrated in the capital of about one million people. The militia blocked part of the city. They often stone and dismember gang suspects, decapitate them, set their limbs on fire, and sometimes even set them on fire while they are still alive.
Vigilantes have killed at least 164 people since the Bwa Kale movement began in April, according to the United Nations. The name means ‘barked tree’ in Haitian and, in street jargon, suggests male dominance and power. “If you’re not from here, we’re going to kill you,” said Leo, the regional leader who gave the Associated Press access to the Trugeau district. In doing so, journalists can see how the district is responding to the gangs that presumably control gangsters. 80% of people are from Port-au-Prince. To protect his family, he did not reveal his last name. Banners were hung across the city reading “I’m tired of kidnappings” and “Let’s take care of each other”, and cordon-like barricades like Trugeaux were erected in many areas. On a recent afternoon, Leo and his neighbors guarded one of four temporary cordons blocking roads leading to a hilltop community of doctors, nurses, pastors, lawyers, street vendors and engineers. was
Anyone who wanted to enter had to show their ID, open their pockets, lift their shirt to check for gangster tattoos, and explain where they were going if they didn’t live there. At night, anyone wishing to enter Trugeaux had to also provide a password, which the community changed weekly. Haitian police do not keep reliable crime statistics. But human rights activists say gang killings and kidnappings have fallen thanks to Bouaker, and they fear gruesome violence and the possibility of killing innocent people. More than 1,630 people were killed, injured or kidnapped in Haiti in the first three months of the year, a nearly 30% increase from the previous quarter, according to a report released in May by the United Nations Office for the Integration of Haiti.
In April alone, he killed more than 600 people, compared with a total of 846 killed in the first three months of the year, according to reports. In October, Prime Minister Ariel Henry called for an immediate international force to quell gang violence, but neither the United Nations Security Council, the United States, nor Canada responded. “Haiti really can’t stand it any longer,” Maria Isabel Salvador, UN envoy to Haiti, told The Associated Press.
Mizaku also refused to reveal his full identity for fear of mobs, but said he recently cut off a man’s arm and burned another’s face with gasoline because no one in the community noticed them. , added that Bwakale participants were killed. At least three people in Turgo are believed to be gang members. The Bwa Kale movement began when police arrested 13 suspected gangsters during a traffic stop in Port-au-Prince in late April. “We took them from the police and we killed them,” Israel Bieneme recalls. He said he helped stone and set fire to the group that day. “This is the only movement that can offer a solution to Haitian gangs.”
Tall and athletic, Bianheme vowed to keep going. “If we find a bandit now, we will catch him, beat him, and kill him,” he said. Murders became more and more brutal. Just a few blocks from Trugeau, a man on a motorcycle suffered a decapitated head as the crowd yelled “Bwaker!” The incident was featured in a video shared on social media and discussed among international observers. Gangsters have yet to respond to the Bwa Kale movement, but are preparing for revenge in some areas. In a recent TikTok video, a man claiming to be part of the gang that controls the Grand Lavigne area southeast of Port-au-Prince said he was waiting for the Bwa Kale movement to come to the area. With a black balaclava over his face and a belt filled with .50 caliber rounds around his neck, the man said his gang would one day offer the Haitians their own version of bouqueré. A man on a motorcycle carries a severed head in front of a crowd just a few blocks from Trugeaux
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