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Haiti - Security : Homicides +35.2%, kidnappings +104.7%
The past several months saw a steady increase in major crime trends and gang-related incidents. The number of reported homicides for 2022 increased by 35.2% compared with 2021, with 2,183 victims reported during the year (including 163 women and 22 girls), compared with 1,615 (including 93 women and 19 girls) in 2021. Of the homicides, 81.6% were recorded in the West Department, where gang-related crime is most prevalent.
Among those killed were the former presidential candidate Eric Jean Baptiste, on 28 October https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-38000-haiti-flash-assassination-of-eric-jean-baptiste-sg-of-the-rdnp.html, and National Police Academy director Harington Rigaud, on 25 November https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-38224-haiti-flash-the-director-of-the-police-academy-executed.html .
Kidnappings up by 104.7%
Kidnappings also continued to rise, resulting in an increase of 104.7%, with 1,359 victims (including 294 women and 23 girls) recorded by the police in 2022 compared with 664 in 2021. Civil unrest has only compounded the situation.
1,490 demonstrations, roadblocks and barricades
In 2022, the United Nations documented at least 1,490 demonstrations, roadblocks and barricades, an increase of 35.5 per cent compared with the previous year.
The Haitian National Police – equipped with new armoured vehicles and trained in tactical intervention by international experts – intensified patrols countrywide and engaged in enhanced anti-gang operations, yielding mixed though occasionally noteworthy results, including the arrest of several dozen gang members. However, despite their determined efforts to curb crime and fight gangs, the overstretched, understaffed and underresourced police force has not been able, on its own, to deter the alarming rise in gang violence.