The Haitian Government declared a state of emergency and a 72-hour curfew in the West department, where the capital Port-au-Prince is located. This occurred after criminal groups took over the Caribbean country’s main penitentiary, resulting in the escape of more than 3,000 inmates and leaving ten dead.

Through a statement, the Haitian Government indicated that, in order to “restore order and take appropriate measures to regain control of the situation”, the mandatory curfew will be in effect from midnight on Sunday until 5:00 am, and on next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 6pm to 5am.

It was also mentioned that the measure does not affect members of the public force on duty, firefighters, ambulance drivers, health professionals and duly identified journalists. “Law enforcement agencies were obliged to use all legal means at their disposal to ensure that the ceasefire is respected and to arrest violators”, adds the note signed by the interim Prime Minister, Patrick Michel Boivert.

The curfew in the West department is due to the increase in violence and clashes between the police and gangs, mainly in the metropolitan region of Port-au-Prince. According to the text, the increase in violence and insecurity in the capital region is characterized by increasingly violent criminal acts carried out by armed gangs that have caused massive displacement of the population.

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Criminal acts include kidnappings, murders of citizens, violence against women and children, looting and theft of public and private property. The statement states that attacks against the country’s two largest prisons, La Capitale and Croix des Bouquets, resulting in deaths and the mass escape of dangerous prisoners, put national security at risk.

Since last Thursday, Haiti has faced unprecedented violence, characterized by an increase in clashes between police and armed gangs, as well as an increase in neighborhood shootings, resulting in an increase in deaths and injuries.


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