Police operation in Haiti capital against 'Barbecue' gang

Police operation in Haiti capital against ‘Barbecue’ gang

/ 01:23 PM March 17, 2024

Police operation in Haiti capital against 'Barbecue' gang

This handout pictures courtesy of Maxar Technologies taken on March 14, 2024 shows smoke billowing from the national penitentiary in Port-au-Prince. Haitians waited nervously March 15, 2024 for the naming of a transitional governing body that they hope will begin restoring stability to the country wracked by gang violence and largely isolated from the outside world. Attacks continued overnight, targeting the Port-au-Prince airport and a top police official’s home, while residents mounted roadblocks in two spots both to impede the criminal gangs and signal their own frustration, an AFP reporter said. (Photo by Satellite image ©2024 Maxar Technologies / AFP) 

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Police in Haiti seized firearms and cleared roadblocks in a Port-au-Prince neighborhood controlled by notorious gang leader Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier, in an operation that left several criminals dead, authorities said Saturday.

National police units entered the Delmas neighborhood Friday evening with the aim of unblocking a road, said Lionel Lazarre of the Haitian police union.


Several “bandits” were killed, he said. A later police statement said officers exchanged gunfire with men from Cherizier’s gang, seized firearms and succeeded in unblocking roads.


READ: ‘Barbecue’ – The Haiti policeman turned feared gang leader

“New strategies are being implemented by the police with the aim of recovering certain areas occupied by these armed gangs in recent days, in order to facilitate the free movement of peaceful citizens,” the statement said, without providing details.

Another operation was underway Saturday morning as law enforcement attempted to regain control of the capital’s main port, where gangs had looted several containers, a source at the port told AFP.

The port has been shut since March 7 because of the violence.

READ: Haiti gang leader vows to fight any foreign armed force if it commits abuses

Haitians have been on edge in recent days awaiting the naming of a transitional governing body meant to restore stability to the impoverished country, wracked by gang violence and left largely isolated from the outside world.


Some are hoping a transitional council can fill the void left by departing Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who is leaving amid pressure from an offensive by gangs that control 80 percent of the capital.

Yet many have decried the pending establishment of a transitional council, a move supported by Caribbean regional body CARICOM, the United Nations and the United States.

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The country has a long, brutal history of foreign interventions, from a 20-year American occupation in the early 1900s to a deadly cholera outbreak linked to a UN peacekeeping mission in the 2010s.

TAGS: Haiti, Violence

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