an armed gang member poses for a picture on the south side of La Saline slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. ( Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

This story is part of a special investigation into Haiti's gang crisis and potential solutions. To view the full series visit our special section, Gangs in Haiti: A deeper look.

Along the side of the road in an area near Bel-Air called “Wireless,” five young men sit chatting under the afternoon sun, each holding an assault rifle. With no insignia or special affiliations, locals refer to such armed men simply as “Bel-Air bandits.” 

Still, these men are the ones residents count on to defend Wireless from G9 Family & Allies, the notorious group led by Jimmy “Barbecue” Chèrizier, which has attacked the area several times. Often, the young men place large objects, once an abandoned shipping container, on Carrefour Peyan, the area’s thoroughfare, to block G9 from invading Bel-Air — again.

Overview:

As the violence on Haiti’s streets attributable to “gangs” reaches unprecedented levels, The Haitian Times digs into four answers to the question so many Haitians ask — “How do we get rid of these gangs?”

To view the full story, please subscribe to The Haitian Times. You can choose a $60 Annual Subscription or a $5 Weekly Pass.

When you join The Haitian Times family, you’ll get unlimited digital access to high-quality journalism about Haiti and Haitians you won’t get anywhere else. We’ve been at this for 20 years and pride ourselves on representing you, our diaspora experience and a holistic view of Haiti that larger media doesn’t show you. 

Join now or renew to get:
— Instant access to one-of-kind stories and special reports 
— Local news from our communities (especially New York and Florida)
— Profiles of Haitians at the top of their fields
— Downloadable lists and resources about Haitian culture 
— Membership merch, perks and special invitations 

First-time subscribers also receive a special welcome gift handmade in Haiti by expert artisans! Do it for the culture and support Black-owned businesses.

If you’re seeing this message but you’re already a subscriber, you can log in for immediate access to this story.

Avatar photo

J.O. Haselhoef is the author of “Give & Take: Doing Our Damnedest NOT to be Another Charity in Haiti.” She co-founded "Yonn Ede Lot" (One Helping Another), a nonprofit that partnered with volunteer groups in La Montagne ("Lamontay"), Haiti from 2007-2013. She writes and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Avatar photo

I am Juhakenson Blaise, a journalist based in the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. I cover the news that develops in this city and deals with other subjects related to the experience of Haitians for the Haitian Times newspaper. I am also a lover of poetry.

Avatar photo

Murdith Joseph is a social worker and journalist. She studied at the State University of Haiti and Maurice Communication. She first worked as a journalist presenter and reporter for Radio Sans Fin (RSF) then as a journalist reporter for Radio tele pacific and writting for the daily Le National. Today she joined the Haitian Times team and covers the news in Port-Au-Prince-Haiti.