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Americans plead for help as Haiti descends into chaos

Fox News national correspondent Bryan Llenas has the latest on frustration as Americans try to escape Haiti on "America’s Newsroom."

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“It’s getting worse, it’s getting worse, it’s getting worse,” one man told Fox News Digital regarding the complete chaos that has unfolded in Haiti.

Scenes of young men running through the capital of Port-au-Prince with rifles, cars ablaze and dead bodies in the streets have plagued media reports for weeks as gang violence continues to escalate. 

“We’re in a war zone,” a Haitian man under the pseudonym Jonathan told Fox News Digital.

The security situation in Port-au-Prince has become so dire that Haitians and Americans alike are running out of places to seek safe haven from gang violence.

People walk past a damaged car in the Carrefour Feuilles neighborhood, which was deserted due to gang violence, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on March 19, 2024. (Reuters/Ralph Tedy Erol)


Gangs have long preyed on private residences to loot and exercise control over certain communities, often through the use of extreme violence, rape and murder. But now, explained Jonathan, no community is safe under a recent truce established by the gangs.

In eerie detail, Jonathan described how he and a neighbor learned on Monday morning that a group of gangs under a temporary truce might descend on their gated community to not only ransack the homes but to use the neighborhood roads to bypass a highway controlled by competing gangs. 

Together they waited, bunkered down with their families.

“There were at least 100 guys going up and down [the street],” Jonathan said. “All with rifles.”

He and his neighbor watched as gang members forced themselves into neighboring homes to steal cars, jewelry and whatever else they could.

“When they came to my gate, I said, ‘I’m going to be next.’ I put my kids and my wife in a safe room with his kids,” Jonathan said.

“We were carrying guns,” he said. “So, I told him … anyone who comes through that wall, we’re going to have to defend ourselves.”

Jonathan said he and his neighbor engaged in a three-hour struggle with what he believed were 30 men trying to enter his home before Haitian authorities arrived at the scene.

“It’s the population that are doing their own security now,” Jonathan said, noting that the police forces are outnumbered and that vigilante justice is on the rise. “The Haitian police are doing everything … to control the area.”

Haiti gang

Masked members of the G9 Family and Allies gang stand guard during a press conference by their leader, Jimmy Chérizier, also known as “Barbecue,” in the Delmas 6 neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on March 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)


Haiti is overloaded with a reported 200 gangs, largely residing in Port-au-Prince, and though many of these gangs are made up of a few dozen men, the larger gangs like G-Pèp and the G9 Family and Allies dominate the deadly sphere with thousands of members and hierarchical networks.

Last year, four gang leaders, including G-9 leader Jimmy Chérizier, who recently grabbed headlines under the name “Barbecue,” signed a truce to bring an end to the extreme violence and “bring peace and security to the island.”

But under the supposed truce, violence has only escalated.

For years, gang violence was centered around the Cité Soleil neighborhood, but the attack on two upscale gated communities this week showed that the violence has extended to all corners of Port-au-Prince.

“We aren’t going to hold more than one week,” Jonathan warned, saying Haiti’s only hope for overturning the gang violence is international boots on the ground.

Kenya has pledged a 1,000-strong police force under a Multinational Security Support Mission to help stop the gangs.

Gangs ramp up violence in Haiti

A woman is comforted by others at a crime scene where the bodies of several people, who were shot dead earlier in the morning amid an escalation in gang violence, were being removed by an ambulance in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on March 18, 2024. (Reuters/Ralph Tedy Erol)

But following the abrupt resignation of interim Prime Minister Ariel Henry last week, the African nation hit a pause on the deployment until a new government is established.


Jonathan, whose wife and children are American, has a U.S. visa. He said his sole focus is on getting his family out of Haiti.

The State Department said Wednesday it has begun utilizing government-chartered helicopter flights from Port-au-Prince to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Spokesperson Vedant Patel said the number of Americans who have filled out a form on the State Department’s website seeking assistance in Haiti is “approaching 1,600” after saying that number was around 1,000 earlier in the week.

All Americans in Haiti have been told to complete the crisis intake form so the State Department can arrange for their evacuation.

Caitlin McFall is a Reporter at Fox News Digital covering Politics, U.S. and World news.

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