Haiti: a country in the grip of fear and violence. People call for peace

The crisis in Haiti is serious and long-lasting. For some years now, the country, and in particular the capital, has been hostage to extremely violent clashes between armed gangs to control the territory. It is estimated that there are more than a hundred armed groups throughout the country.

In recent days, the situation has entered a new phase of disorder and violence. While the Haitian Prime Minister, Ariel Henry - appointed by President Jovenel Moïse shortly before his assassination in July 2021 - was in Kenya, armed gangs united in an alliance called 'Viv ansanm' (live together), led by a former policeman, Barbecue, and attacked several police stations, the presidential palace, the international airport and the country's main prison. The Prime Minister's resignation was not enough to stop the protests.
The situation is now out of control. Armed men go from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, burning houses, devastating and killing. People live in fear of being killed or having to flee into the night. In some neighbourhoods, self-defence groups have been organised, which also often carry out indiscriminate violence. Shops, banks, schools and offices remain closed.
The Community of Haiti, as well as the 120 children adopted at a distance and the elderly of the Lakay Mwen mission that Sant'Egidio has supported for many years, live in a relatively protected area. Last year the family home that Sant'Egidio has been supporting for many years, which houses about 15 children, had to be relocated from Port au Prince to Petit-Goave, a little away from the centre of the capital. 
Haiti is at the heart of the Community's prayer for peace, so that paths to coexistence and peace may be found.