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Crime, politics and violence in post-Earthquake Haiti

28 September 2010
Central and South America

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Crime, politics and violence in post-Earthquake Haiti

Crime and violence is increasing in Haiti because significant numbers of prisoners (around 5000) escaped during the earthquake, and ‘youth gangs and other armed groups’ have now had sufficient time to regain their strength. A reversal is now being seen in the progress that was made prior to the earthquake in reducing criminal violence, and improving law enforcement, particularly as violence is fuelled by poverty, low police presence, and weak governance, all of which have increased as a result of the disaster. In the run up to elections, it is also likely that heightened gang activity will be linked to political conflict, with the potential aim of undermining the government. This USIP Peace Brief disusses these trends and states that if they are not properly managed, these risks could threaten the upcoming elections and reconstruction process.


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