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Video: Gang Members Beg for Mercy Before Lynch Mob Stones Them and Burns Them Alive

This is the horrifying moment suspected Haitian gang members beg for mercy before a vigilante lynch mob stones and burns them alive.

The mob beat and burned 13 men to death with gasoline-soaked tyres on Monday after pulling them from police custody at a traffic stop, police and witnesses in the capital Port-au-Prince said.

Six more burned bodies were seen in a nearby neighbourhood later on in the day, and witnesses claimed to have seen police kill them before residents set them on fire. News agencies said this could not be verified.

Haiti’s National Police said in a brief statement that officers in the city’s Canape Vert section had stopped and searched a minibus for contraband.

The officers confiscated weapons from suspects before they were ‘unfortunately lynched by members of the population’, the officials said. The statement did not elaborate on how members of the crowd were able to take control of the suspects.

The horrific vigilante violence shows the level of public anger over the increasing lawlessness in Port-au-Prince.

Criminal gangs have taken control of an estimated 60 per cent of the city since the July 2021 assassination of president Jovenel Moïse.

A witness who gave his name as Edner Samuel told reporters that members of the crowd took the suspected gangsters away from police, beat them and stoned them before putting tyres on them, pouring gasoline on top and burning them.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw 13 bodies burning in the street.

Two videos shared on social media appeared to show the moments before and after the tyres were set alight above the group of men.

The first video showed the suspected criminals lying on the floor with tyres piled on their backs. One man appeared to lift his head, but as he did so was hit by a stone.

Others were seen lying still face down, seemingly trying not to attract attention to themselves, while one man appears to be pleading with an armed officer.

Police officers were seen standing guard, but showed little sign of trying to protect the men from the mob. One of the officers is shown stamping on one of the suspected gang members to prevent him from standing.

The second video, taken from further away than the first, shows thick black smoke billowing up from a pile of tyres and bodies as flames burn.

The fires drew hundreds of onlookers in the hilly suburb of the city, many of them holding their noses amid the fumes. Pictures showed several bystanders looking horrified, while others appeared to be taking photos.

Mr Samuel said the suspects were believed to have been heading to another area to join a group of gangsters battling police.

Another witness, Jean Josue, said there had been a lot of gunfire in the area since the early morning.

The situation in the capital remained tense, and shots could be heard ringing out from several neighbourhoods.

In the nearby area of Turgeau, a few minutes drive from Canape Vert, witnesses said police had killed six gang suspects in a shoot-out, and that local residents dragged the bodies from where they fell to a central location and set fire to them.

An AP reporter saw the six burned bodies. Police did not release any statements about the violence in Turgeau.

Acting president Ariel Henry tweeted that his government expresses its sympathy with police officers injured in recent operations.

‘I applaud the considerable and meritorious efforts of the national police to restore order and peace in our cities and neighbourhoods,’ he tweeted.

‘There is still a lot to do.’

Witnesses at the scene said the suspects were believed to have been members of the Kraze Barye gang, which translates as ‘Breaking Barriers’.

The violence started before dawn, when gang members burst into several residential areas of the capital, looting homes and attacking residents, witnesses said.

‘It was the sound of projectiles that woke us up this morning. It was 3.00am, the gangs invaded us. There were shots,’ a Turgeau local told AFP news agency.

‘If the gangs come to invade us, we will defend ourselves, we too have our own weapons, we have our machetes, we will take their weapons, we will not flee,’ said another resident.

‘Mothers who want to protect their children can send them elsewhere,’ he added.

In fact, dozens of families left the neighbourhoods caught in the spiral of violence on Monday, AFP journalists confirmed. Men, women and children fled the scene on foot, carrying a few personal belongings in bags or bundles.

Authorities say the gang is led by Vitel’Homme Innocent, who is accused of helping kidnap 17 US missionaries in October 2021.

He is also linked to the assassination of president Moïse.

Moïse was shot 12 times when two dozen armed men raided the country’s presidential residence in the early hours on July 7, 2021.

Two weeks later, Henry was sworn in as president, having only just been named prime minister by Moïse on July 5.

Accusations and suspicions surrounding the now-acting president have swirled since, not helped by his refusal to co-operate with authorities over his links to the one of the key suspects in the assassination – Joseph Felix Badio.

The latest killings came as the United Nations released a report highlighting the rise in violence in the country, even comparing it to levels seen in countries at war.

Armed gangs ‘continued to compete to expand their territorial control throughout the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, spreading to previously unaffected neighbourhoods,’ the report by secretary-general Antonio Guterres said.

‘With the high number of fatalities and increasing areas under the control of armed gangs, insecurity in the capital has reached levels comparable to countries in armed conflict,’ it added.

The number of reported homicides in Haiti rose in recent months by 21 per cent, from 673 in the last quarter of 2022 to 815 between January 1 and March 31 this year.

The number of reported kidnappings soared from 391 to 637.

‘The people of Haiti continue to suffer one of the worst human rights crises in decades and a major humanitarian emergency,’ the report said.

Clashes among gangs and with police have ‘become more violent and more frequent,’ claiming many civilian lives, it added.

The human rights situation of people living in gang-controlled areas ‘remains appallingly poor’ and conditions in areas newly targeted by gangs have ‘worsened significantly,’ according to the report.

The document highlighted the dire situation for residents of Cite Soleil, along the capital’s waterfront, where snipers have shot passersby on the street from rooftops.

‘The inhabitants feel besieged. They can no longer leave their homes for fear of armed violence and the terror imposed by the gangs,’ the UN humanitarian coordinator for Haiti said in a separate statement on Sunday.

Between April 14 and 19, clashes between rival gangs left nearly 70 people dead, including 18 women and at least two children, the statement added.

‘I reiterate the urgent need for the deployment of an international specialised armed force,’ Guterres said in Monday’s report.

Guterres in October relayed a call for help from Mr Henry, asking the Security Council to send assistance to help police restore order.

While some countries have indicated a willingness to participate, none have come forward to take the lead.

The United Nations Human Rights Council last week agreed to provide ‘technical assistance and support for capacity-building in the promotion and protection of human rights,’ and to appoint an expert to monitor the situation.

‘The barbary of the gangs has reached a high water mark,’ Haiti’s ambassador Justin Viard told the council, pointing to how they ‘kidnap, execute, and burn alive old people, children, pregnant women.’

READ 22 COMMENTS
  • Longbow says:

    “If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore what he must be taught to fear is his victim.”
    ~ Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper.

  • Kevin says:

    What is the common factor in almost all riots, assaults, public burnings and complete breakdown of law and order. Starts with a B and ends in K.

  • Tressa says:

    The government better start paying attention because we the people are at that point of protecting ourselves.
    Shame on this government of idiots!

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