Gangs in Haiti Perceived to Be Gaining Power as Government Struggles to Maintain Order


  1. Gangs in Haiti have grown more powerful, controlling up to 80% of Port-au-Prince (CNN)

  2. Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced he will resign after pressure from the US and Caribbean nations (Al Jazeera)

  3. Violence and unrest in Haiti has displaced thousands and led to mass prison breaks (CBS News)

  4. Notorious gang leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier has challenged the government (Guardian)

  5. The US and other nations have pledged funds for a multinational security force to help Haiti (AP News)

Chaos, Violence & Instability

Perspective 1:

The Haitian government, led by Prime Minister Ariel Henry, is failing to maintain stability and control gang violence. Gangs have grown extremely powerful, controlling large parts of Port-au-Prince and other cities, terrorizing citizens, and attacking government institutions like prisons. The government appears unable to stop the violence, with police quitting and security forces overwhelmed. Prime Minister Henry has lost credibility amid the chaos and is resigning after pressure.

Perspective 2:

Powerful Haitian gangs like the one led by Jimmy "Barbecue" Cherizier are exploiting the weakness of the state and government to gain power and territory. They are attacking police, burning buildings, freeing prisoners, and blocking roads to paralyze society, trying to force out Prime Minister Henry. Gang leaders like Cherizier claim they want to challenge corruption and defend the poor, but experts say they are violent opportunists looking to control drug and kidnapping trades. The gangs are creating instability to strengthen their own power.

Perspective 3 + Others

Perspective 3:

The international community, including the US, UN, and regional powers like the Caribbean Community, are trying to broker solutions to the crisis in Haiti. They have pressured Prime Minister Henry to resign and establish an interim government. However, some experts argue foreign powers have contributed to the crisis by supporting unelected leaders like Henry. The plan for a multinational security force is controversial, with concerns over human rights and foreign intervention.

Perspective 4:

Ordinary Haitian citizens are bearing the brunt of the country's instability. Poverty and hunger are widespread as vital supplies are cut off by gang blockades. Thousands have lost homes due to arson and gang wars. Haitians have protested the government's failure to hold elections. Vigilante groups have formed in some areas to defend against gangs. But most regular Haitians feel abandoned by the government and threatened by unrestrained criminal violence. They want security and a return to stability and democracy.

Global Perspective:

Here are the key differences I noticed between the US and global articles [Russia & China] covering the current events in Haiti:

New Information in Global Articles:

- More details provided on the medical/humanitarian crisis and collapse of healthcare system in Port-au-Prince, with hospitals evacuated and bodies left rotting. Regional articles lacked these vivid firsthand details.

- Global articles highlighted the high proportion of minors in Haitian gangs, due to poverty/lack of options. This context was missing from the regional articles.

- Evacuation of US, German and EU diplomatic personnel was covered in more detail globally, with specifics on the flights and destination countries. Regional articles only briefly mentioned US evacuations.

- Global articles emphasized the role of illegally smuggled US guns fueling Haitian gang violence and power, a point missing from the regional coverage.

Differing Perspectives:

- Regional articles focused heavily on the US perspective, including border concerns if Haitian refugees flee to Florida. The global articles provided more insight into the viewpoints of Haitians themselves and sentiments on the ground.

- While the regional articles highlighted US financial contributions to the potential multinational security force, the global articles stressed skepticism around foreign intervention in Haiti based on past experiences.

- Regional coverage centered on the US stance urging the Haitian PM to step down and pave way for new elections. Global articles provided more insight into the PM's evacuation challenges and the power vacuum creating instability.

In summary, the global articles provided more boots-on-the-ground details and local Haitian context compared to the emphasis on US policy interests in the regional coverage. The global perspectives elucidated the complex dynamics, instability and humanitarian crisis in Haiti, not fully captured in the regional view.


Haiti is facing a major crisis of instability and rampant gang violence that has gripped the capital Port-au-Prince and other cities, according to reports from CNN, CBS, AP, Al Jazeera and other sources. Powerful criminal gangs like the one led by Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier have grown increasingly brazen, controlling up to 80% of Port-au-Prince according to UN estimates cited by CNN and CBS. Videos show them burning buildings, attacking police, and terrorizing citizens.

The violence escalated in late February when Cherizier’s gang coalition launched coordinated attacks on police stations to try to force out Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who they accuse of corruption and failing to address poverty, according to the Guardian. Henry was in Kenya negotiating deployment of a multinational security force. Gang attacks on airports prevented his return. Under international pressure, Henry finally agreed to resign after an interim council is established, Al Jazeera reported. But some experts say the gangs won’t be satisfied, arguing foreign powers ignored demands for an inclusive political process, per the Guardian.

The chaos has displaced over 15,000 in Port-au-Prince and forced businesses and schools to close, reports CBS. Gangs unleashed a wave of attacks on prisons that freed over 3,500 inmates, says CNN. Haiti’s police are overwhelmed and under-resourced according to the AP. Prices are spiking due to gang road blocks that slow critical supplies, notes CNN. Hospitals have closed and hunger is spreading. Ordinary Haitians protest the government’s failure to hold elections for years, leaving institutions vacant.

The US and Caribbean nations have pledged hundreds of millions for a Kenyan-led multinational security force, reports Al Jazeera. But some Haitians doubt whether another foreign military intervention can restore order and democracy. The UN’s top rights official called the situation “untenable,” says CNN. Experts argue years of intervention by foreign powers in Haiti have often fueled crises rather than prevented them.