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  • Writer's pictureCarl Sandy Alcema

UN’s new Haiti envoy warns of ‘alarming’ surge in violence

Haitians are living through an “alarming” surge in violence, the head of the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) has said, with the number of criminal incidents more than doubling since last year.

Speaking to the UN Security Council on Wednesday, BINUH chief Maria Isabel Salvador said 1,674 homicides, rapes, kidnappings and lynchings were reported in the first quarter of 2023.

That is up from 692 such incidents in the same period a year earlier, said Salvador, citing data collected by BINUH and the Haitian National Police.

“Gang violence is expanding at an alarming rate in areas previously considered relatively safe in Port-au-Prince and outside the capital,” she said.

“The horrific violence in gang-ridden areas, including sexual violence, particularly against women and girls, is emblematic of the terror afflicting much of Haiti’s population.”

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