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Pictures | Eight days of terror in Haiti


The civilian population is fleeing en masse, different places are under siege by armed gangs, shortages of basic necessities are being felt

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The security context in the metropolitan area has continued to deteriorate since the start of the violent gang offensive against state institutions on February 29.

Zone Stade Sylvio Cator Haiti

Saturday March 2, 2024, view of the Sylvio Cator Stadium area before the invasion of the national penitentiary. | © Jean Feguens Regala/AyiboPost

The civilian population is fleeing en masse, different places are besieged by armed gangs, shortages of basic necessities are being felt.

Since then, places such as: Portail Léogane, rue Magloire Ambroise, the Salomon Market at the bottom of the city, have been the scene of clashes between the police and criminals.

Haïtiens fuyant Port-au-Prince

People flee the lower part of the city of Port-au-Prince due to the gang attack, March 2, 2024.

On Thursday February 29, the police station in the commune of Croix-des-Bouquets was attacked by gangs, costing the lives of 6 police officers who requested reinforcements in vain for several hours.

The same day, several institutions were vandalized and looted.

This is the case of the National Old Age Office (ONA) in Shada, the Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine (FAMV) as well as the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture (MARNDR) in Croix-des-Missions . There were also acts of vandalism in a school for special children in Alley Lane.

The sub-police station in this area was also prey to bandits who set it on fire.

Feu zone FMP Haïti

Near the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, a fire was noticed at the same time as the police were confronting the bandits in the Sylvio Cator stadium area.

Air transport is at a standstill throughout the country. Several companies such as Jet Blue, Air Transat and American Airlines have announced that they have suspended their flights following the attacks orchestrated on Toussaint Louverture international airport. Several planes were hit by projectiles.

Départ d'Ariel Henry

A protester holding a sign demanding the departure of de facto Prime Minister Ariel Henry in front of the Canadian Embassy, March 7, 2024.

Incredible acts of violence were recorded the following day, March 1, with the fire of the Vehicle Insurance Office Against Third Parties (OAVCT) in Tabarre, the looting followed by the fire of the mini-supermarket “La Province Market » at the corner of rue de l’Enterrement and rue Oswald Durand.

The panic continued throughout the day of March 2. In the evening, an extraordinary escape from the National Penitentiary prison, where notorious criminals were being held, took place.

évasion de prisonniers haiti

The main entrance to the penitentiary wide open the day after the prisoners’ escape.

Évasion pénitencier national

A sick prisoner was pushed and broken during the escape of March 2, 2024. Another is lying on the ground.

Despite warnings of a possible offensive against the country’s largest prison center, this did not stop the attack from occurring.

Of approximately 3,687 prisoners held in this civil prison, only around a hundred would remain after the escape, including Colombian nationals involved in the assassination of former President Jovenel Moïse. Several prominent individuals charged in the case have fled.

Colombiens en prison Haïti

Three of the Colombians involved in the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse remained in the prison, circulating there on March 3, 2024.

Since this escalation of violence, around ten police stations have been destroyed, usual fixed points in the metropolitan area remain without any police presence.

On March 3, the Saint François de Sales hospital was not spared from the scenes of looting on Rue de l’Enterrement.

Other large hospitals face enormous difficulties in supplying medical inputs and an absence of nursing staff.

Hôpital de l'Université d'État d'Haïti

View of the Hospital of the State University of Haiti (HUEH), the largest hospital center in the country, now out of service, according to statements by its director Jude Milcé to AyiboPost.

A group of demonstrators identifying themselves as sympathizers of the “Pitit Desalin” party and the “Fòs Kanapevè” group went in front of the Canadian embassy on the road to Delmas, on March 7.

Some of them threw burning tires into the embassy compound.

Feu Ambassade du Canada Haïti

A young man throws a burning tire into the grounds of the Canadian embassy in Delmas, March 7, 2024.

Pneu enflammé Ambassade Canada Haïti

A young man has just thrown this burning tire into the courtyard of the Canadian Embassy in Delmas, March 7, 2024.

Ambassade du Canada Haïti violence

A protester throws a bottle towards the Cnada Embassy in Delmas, March 7, 2024.

To date, no official report has been communicated by the government, which has simply decreed a curfew for one month in the West department.

Since February 29, citizens have been fleeing rue Cameau, lower Delmas, Portail Léogâne, rue Magloire Ambroise, etc. to take refuge elsewhere.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has already identified fifteen of the previous reception sites for internally displaced persons, which are completely emptied of their occupants.

Habitante fuie Port-au-Prince

A lady in tears near rue Saint Honoré, leaving her home in the lower part of the city.

On Friday March 8, 2024, the political turmoil seemed to have spared the streets of Port-au-Prince. The markets – like at Christ-Roi – were functioning. The vans were leaving and coming back. Life was getting back to normal…

In the vicinity of the Champ-de-Mars, an improvised bus parking lot could be seen. Usually, this station is located near the Sylvio Cator stadium.

Station au Champ-de-Mars

An improvised station towards the great South on the Champ-de-Mars, previously in the area of the Sylvio Cator stadium.

Fuite du bas de la ville de Port-au-Prince

A vehicle carrying a refrigerator in the vicinity of Champ-de-Mars in Haiti.

Apparently, the city was coming back to life. But this is just an illusion. Misleading, certainly. Because the long lines at gas stations and water distribution points portend future shortages of fuel and drinking water.

Some supermarkets are also reporting unusual crowds: at Star 2000 on the road to Delmas, an impressive line can be observed on the afternoon of Friday March 8.

Barricade à Delmas

Men come together to erect a barricade with a car wreck in Delmas 64.

The political turmoil is accompanied by looting of numerous stores. Attacks on the country’s most important port, with the promise of probable famine – as reported by the NGO Mercy Corps, if nothing is done in the coming days to restore the functioning of these institutions.

A man imagines pointing a gun in the direction of the AyibOpost photojournalist while burning tires go up to the EDH premises on the Delmas road.

Corpses – often charred – lie in certain streets. Like these two unburned feet, the only remaining witnesses of an ancient body – half consumed, still in the streets of Ruelle Rivière. “Two men arrived and executed him in the evening,” testifies a man to AyiboPost, still under the influence of the terror of the scene.

The police do not venture into the streets.

Streets left to criminals, believes Samuel Madistin, during an interview Thursday with AyiboPost. The lawyer, president of the Je Klere foundation, calls for a change of leadership in the Haitian national police and within the army in a context where political negotiations must determine the future.

Habitant fuyant les gangs Haiti

A biker carries a bed from a resident fleeing gang violence in Port-au-Prince.

A future that – according to the State Department – would not include the current Prime Minister, Ariel Henry, under whose administration the few institutions still standing in the country collapsed.

And the descent continues.

Habitante fuyant terreur Haiti

A woman displaced at the corner of Oswald Durand and Saint Honoré streets.

Habitant fuyant bas Delmas

A person fleeing gang violence in the lower part of Delmas.

Habitant fuyant violence gangs haiti

A person carrying a wardrobe and gas canisters.

«Déplacés à P-au-P»

Cars carrying mattresses.

Habitant fuyant Delmas

A group of people fleeing attacks in Bas-Delmas, March 4, 2024.

Commissariat de marché salom

The Salomon Market sub-police station after its fire.

marché salomon Haiti

A warehouse in the Salomon market was set on fire by armed gangs on the sidelines of the police substation fire.

The Carrefour-aéroport sub-police station after being set on fire by armed gangs.

Wrecks of a PNH vehicle assigned to the sub-police station.

manifestation contre Ariel Henry

Demonstration of supporters of Pitit Dessalines and Fòs Kanapevè.

pneus enflammés Haiti

A protester is pushing burning tires towards the EDH office on Delmas Road.

Incendie EDH

A protester stands in front of the Électricité d’Haïti (EDH) office in Delmas 40, where tires are set on fire.

Des manifestants Haiti

Protesters on Delmas Road on March 1, 2024, against Prime Minister Ariel Henry

Militants Delmas

Activists speaking to journalists in front of the entrance of the Canadian embassy.

Blindé PNH

An armored vehicle of the National Police of Haiti (PNH) drives through Rue de l’Enterrement the day after the attack on the Penitentiary, near the Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes (CSCCA).

Forces de l'ordre Haïti

Members of the Haitian National Police (PNH) and the Armed Forces of Haiti (FADH) stand guard outside the diplomatic salon.

This man is marching near Toussaint Louverture Airport very calmly, while the area is under high tension on March 4, 2024.

By Jean Feguens Regala et Jérôme Wendy Norestyl

Widlore Mérancourt contributed to this report.

Image de couverture : A soldier of the Armed Forces of Haiti (FADH) monitors the entrance to the airport in anticipation of the rumor concerning the possible return of Prime Minister Ariel Henry to Haiti, March 4, 2024. | © Jean Feguens Regala/AyiboPost

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Photojournaliste freelance à AyiboPost depuis mars 2023.