Watch: Haiti's PM driven out from official ceremony after armed gangs shoot in the air

WION Web Team
Port-au-Prince Updated: Oct 19, 2021, 02:53 PM(IST)

Haiti PM Ariel Henry Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Since the death of President Jovenel Moise in July and an earthquake in August, gangs have gotten more comfortable committing crimes outside of the region they control, according to human rights researcher Pierre Esperance. 

Haiti's worsening security situation was highlighted on Sunday when Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry sought to lead a ceremony mourning the death of one of the country's founding fathers. His delegation was greeted by a barrage of gunfire, forcing officials to flee. 

The highly armed gang members who then paraded in their place.

It was another example of the rising dominance of the Caribbean nation's gangs, who abducted a group of Christian missionaries near the capital, Port-au-Prince, on Saturday.

Since the death of President Jovenel Moise in July and an earthquake in August, gangs have gotten more comfortable committing crimes outside of the region they control, according to human rights researcher Pierre Esperance. 

A video circulating on social media and claims in the Haitian media showed Jimmy "Barbecue" Cherizier, the country's most renowned crime lord, officiating at a ceremony commemorating the killing of Jean-Jacques Dessalines, one of Haiti's revolutionary founding fathers. 

The Sunday ceremony was a yearly event held in Port-au-Pont Prince's Rouge neighbourhood to commemorate Dessalines' assassination in 1806.

After defeating a Napoleonic army and eliminating slavery in the new republic, one of Haiti's founding fathers was assassinated.

While Henry was unable to attend the event, footage from the day showed numerous official vehicles departing Pont Rouge amid gunshots.

Other members, according to The Guardian, left the area on foot. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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