PORT-AU-PRINCE — Haiti’s police chief met with representatives of the United Nations and United States to establish a security strategy plan for the country, the law enforcement agency announced via Twitter last week.
Frantz Elbé, interim director general of the Haitian National Police (PNH), met with representatives of the U.N. Integrated Office in Haiti, U.N. Program for Development U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law ffairs. Participants discussed the strategic development plan for PNH operations, including ways to combat Haiti’s rampant crime.
The meeting comes amid a general outcry against ongoing violence perpetrated by street gangs, including a re-surge in kidnappings.
At least 395 kidnappings were reported in the first six months of 2021, according to the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights (CARDH) in Port-au-Prince, the Washington Post has reported. That’s more than four times the 88 reported during the same period last year, the news outlet said from all walks of life as a way to draw cash.
In the first half of October, according to CARDH, nearly 120 kidnappings took place, including that of 17 foreign missionaries. The gangs have also been linked to various massacres that occurred in neighborhoods around the capital, including in Martissant, Bel-Air and Delmas. Scores have died during these kidnappings or attempted abductions in Haiti, considered one of the world’s most fragile states.
Elbé was appointed the new chief of police Léon Charles resigned on Oct. 21.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. The organization is within the U.S. Department of State, not a U.N. agency.