Follow Us

Gangs release thousands from Haitian prisons, at least 12 killed as US tells citizens to leave ASAP

Haiti declared a state of emergency after gangs stormed two major prisons, releasing about 3,700 inmates and killing at least 

Published: March 4, 2024 1:49pm

Haiti's government declared a state of emergency after gangs stormed two major prisons, releasing about 3,700 inmates and killing at least 12 people, as the American Embassy in Haiti is urging U.S. citizens to leave "as soon as possible."

Gangs broke into one prison in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and one in nearby Croix des Bouquets over the weekend, the government said, the BBC reported Monday.

While gangs control about 80% of Port-au-Prince, the latest surge in violence started last week after Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry traveled to Kenya to discuss a multinational security force being sent to Haiti. The gangs are demanding the prime minister's resignation, although his whereabouts are unknown since he went to Africa. 

The U.S. Embassy in Haiti released an alert Sunday instructing all U.S. citizens in the country to leave "as soon as possible by commercial or other privately available transportation options, in light of the current security situation and infrastructure challenges." 

The embassy had issued a similar alert advising citizens to leave in August due to the country's security situation. However, as recently as last week, U.S. citizens in Haiti were advised only to "exercise extreme caution."

Follow Madeleine Hubbard on X or Instagram.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

Links

Just the News Spotlight