Can Foreign Forces Tackle Haiti’s Gangs?
Can Foreign Forces Tackle Haiti’s Gangs?
Podcast / Latin America & Caribbean 1 minutes

Can Foreign Forces Tackle Haiti’s Gangs?

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood speaks with Renata Segura and Diego Da Rin, Crisis Group’s Latin America experts, about whether foreign forces can help tackle Haiti’s spiralling gang violence, political gridlock and latest cholera outbreak.

Haiti has long suffered political crises, gang violence and natural disasters, but the past two years have been especially cruel. In July 2021, gunmen murdered then President Jovenel Moïse in his home in the capital Port-Au-Prince. Ariel Henry took over as prime minister, supposed to shepard the country to elections. But rampant violence renders a credible vote impossible, and Henry’s dismissal of the election commission has hardly helped. Gang violence has spiralled, as rival gangs battle for control of parts of Port-au-Prince. Some estimates suggest gangs control some 60 per cent of the capital, as well as all main roads leading to the city and, for almost two months, the country’s main port. Protesters have repeatedly taken to the streets, angered at the gang violence and at hikes in fuel prices, triggered by Henry’s removal of subsidies. With shortages of drinking water, cholera is spreading and difficult to curb in gang-controlled areas. In early October, Henry requested that foreign troops deploy to help Haitian police take on gangs. Many Haitians, including Henry’s political opponents, oppose another intervention after repeated failures of foreign involvement in the past, though some Haitians, particularly in areas most affected by gang violence, are more supportive, seemingly out of sheer desperation. 

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood speaks with Renata Segura, Crisis Group’s deputy Latin America and Caribbean director, and Diego Da Rin, consulting Haiti expert, about the crisis. They talk about what life is like under gang control, the fight between the two main gang coalitions, G9 and G-PEP, as well as their leaders’ backgrounds and links to Haiti’s politics. They discuss Haiti’s political crisis and Ariel Henry’s rule since Moïse’s killing. They also talk about the prospect of foreign forces deploying to Haiti, the challenges any mission would face, and whether it could help loosen the grip of Haiti’s gangs over much of the country and bring a measure of stability for long-suffering Haitians.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more on the situation in Haiti, check out Crisis Group’s extensive analysis on our Haiti country page.


Executive Vice President
Program Director, Latin America and Caribbean
Diego Da Rin
Consultant, Latin American and Caribbean

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