At Least 25 Dead After Prison Break In Haiti In Which more than 400 Hundreds Of Inmates Escaped

Recaptured inmates are escorted by police back to the Croix-des-Bouquets Civil Prison after an attempted breakout, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. At least seven people were killed and one injured on Thursday after eyewitnesses told The Associated Press that several inmates tried to escape from a prison in Haiti’s capital. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery).

Haïti n’est ni plus ni moins gouverné ou administré, un pays aux institutions faillies à leur mission première. Avec Jovenel Moise, un inculpé de blanchiment d’argent, usurpateur de titre, corrupteur-corrompu de son état, Haïti nage dans la voyoucratie.

In a statement sent to NPR – USA National Public Radio -, the United Nations’ Special Representative for Haiti, Helen La Lime, – wrote that she was « deeply concerned » about the prison break.

Samedi 27 février 2021 ((–A massive prison break in Haiti has resulted in the escape of hundreds of inmates and the deaths of at least 25 people, including the prison’s director and a notorious Haitian gang leader named Arnel Joseph.

The prison break occurred Thursday at the Croix-des-Bouquets Civil Prison in the capital of Port-au-Prince. As of late Friday, authorities had recaptured about 60 inmates, but were still actively searching for more than 200 others, according to Haiti’s secretary of state for communication – de facto -, Frantz Exantus.

Gang violence in Haiti has mounted in recent years, and Joseph, the gang leader, had been among the country’s most wanted fugitives before his arrest in 2019. He had been awaiting trial on charges of murder, rape and kidnapping.

Joseph was killed in a shootout with police after he escaped, Exantus said at a news conference. Joseph was riding on a motorbike through the city when police attempted to flag him down, according to Exantus. He was killed by police after opening fire.

Several of the 25 people killed were bystanders, authorities said, attacked by prisoners as they escaped.

In a statement sent to NPR, the United Nations’ Special Representative for Haiti, Helen La Lime, wrote that she was « deeply concerned » about the prison break.

« I encourage the police to speed up investigations on the circumstances surrounding this incident, redouble its efforts to re-apprehend the escapees, and strengthen security around prisons throughout the country, » said La Lime.

– The dictator – President Jovenel Moise tweeted Friday condemning the breakout and urging Haitians to remain calm. The Haitian National Police, he wrote, « is instructed to take all measures to bring the situation under control. »

Haiti is in the midst of political turmoil, as – the facto – President Moise faces increasing pressure to step down. Moise was elected to a five-year term in late 2015, but allegations of fraud so marred the election that a provisional administration governed for just over a year before he took office in February 2017. Moise contends that means his five-year term does not end until 2022, and he has ruled by decree since late 2019. Widespread protests erupted this month over his refusal to leave office and after more than 20 political opponents who Moise accused of planning a violent coup were arrested.

For everyday Haitians, especially those in Port-au-Prince, the prison break is only the latest chapter in what has been a year of increasing violence.


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