The spiral of state-driven terror in 'gangsterized' Haiti

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In Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, a succession of massacres since 2018 by criminal gangs of inhabitants in several neighbourhoods is denounced by rights organisations as a strategy by the country’s deeply unpopular president, Jovenel Moïse, to terrorise the population into submission. François Bonnet reports on the horrific events, and interviews one of Haiti’s leading young writers, Jean D’Amérique, whose recently published novel, Soleil à coudre, centres on one such neighbourhood.

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Haiti, whose history since its independence from France in 1804 has been marked by economic hardship, political instability, dictatorships, and recurrent natural disasters, including a 2010 earthquake that left more than 250,000 dead, is one of the poorest countries in the world, and the poorest of any country in the Latin America and Caribbean region.