On Wednesday, a well-armed group forcefully entered a hospital in Haiti, seizing hundreds of women, children, and infants, as reported by the medical center’s director who urgently appealed for assistance through social media.
“We are in great difficulty,” Jose Ulysse, the individual who established and oversees the Fontaine Hospital Center situated in the extensive Cite Soleil slum within the capital city of Port-au-Prince, verified the occurrence in a concise communication.
Additional information was not promptly accessible, and the motive behind the attackers holding patients hostage remained unclear. Ulysse chose not to provide further comments or respond to additional inquiries.
Within a community besieged by escalating violence among gangs, the hospital is viewed as a sanctuary and a crucial support system. Residents of Cite Soleil routinely face the grim reality of being subjected to rape, assault, or even fatal incidents due to the ongoing conflicts among these gangs.
Depi aprè lanmò Isca Andrice, Chèf gang katye « Belekou » a, katouch pa sispann chante nan komin Site Solèyak zòn ki antourel yo. Ekip ki gen nan tèt li « Ti Gabriel » nan katye Brooklyn, ap eseye pran kontwòl divès zòn ki te anba pouvwa Isca. Se ka pou lokalite « Pyèsis,… pic.twitter.com/CL61K1JCM5
— Luckson Saint-Vil Journaliste (@LuckNews88) November 15, 2023
The Brooklyn gang, comprised of approximately 200 members, exercises authority over specific neighborhoods in Cite Soleil, including Brooklyn. A recent United Nations report indicates their engagement in activities such as extortion, the seizure of goods through hijacking, and perpetrating violence against the civilian population.
According to the report, the G-Pep coalition and its associates significantly enhanced collaboration and broadened their sources of income. Notably, they engaged in kidnapping for ransom, a practice that bolstered their combat capabilities.
In a previous interview earlier this year, Ulysse disclosed that he had been personally targeted by gangs on two occasions.
The influence of gangs throughout Haiti has steadily increased following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July 2021, leading to a surge in kidnappings and fatalities.
In a recent incident, around 20 armed gang members forcibly entered a hospital operated by Doctors Without Borders, seizing a patient from an operating room. The criminals managed to gain entry by feigning a life-threatening emergency, as reported by the organization.