Diaspora

Haiti's gangs run the streets as fuel and water run low – Axios

Demonstrations against the government devolve into chaos in Port-au-Prince. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images
The blockade of Haiti’s main fuel terminal by a federation of gangs has made it nearly impossible for millions of Haitians to obtain fuel and increasingly difficult to find drinking water or food.
The big picture: Three-quarters of Haiti’s hospitals have closed due to “the fuel crisis, insecurity and looting,” the UN says, just as cholera is beginning to spread around the country.
Driving the news: Henry appealed last night for international assistance, though he didn't specifically request a military intervention.
On the ground: Judes Jonathas, a senior program manager in Haiti for the humanitarian group Mercy Corps, tells Axios he starts his day with phone calls — ”what do you see in the street?” — to assess whether it’s safe to travel to the office or into the field. “We know we’re taking risks,” he says, but their aid is needed now more than ever.
Flashback: Henry won a power struggle following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July last year. He’s been accused of having links to suspects in the assassination, though he denies any role.
The current crisis is not as simple as government vs. gangs, because the two are inextricably linked, says Pierre Esperance, executive director of Haiti's National Human Rights Defense Network.
The bottom line: "We can survive for one or two weeks," Jonathas says. "If this situation stays the same, it will be a catastrophe."

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