Conflict & Justice

Crime-fighting in Haiti

This man has served 20 years in the NYPD, but he was born in Haiti and has enjoyed coming here to help with security. His partner grew up in Florida. They're part of a corps of Haitian-born American policemen with the anti-kidnapping squad of the U.N. police force in Haiti. The officer talks about a big gun battle they had after investigating a crime a couple weeks ago. He says they lost one officer. These officers speak Creole, the language of the Haitian majority. They have experience of fighting crime on some tough streets of the U.S., and a local knowledge. They also enjoy a level of trust that the Haitian police don't, because many are worried about corruption among the local police force. This family told me of the impact kidnappings are having on Haiti. They say all the best people are leaving the country because of the insecurity, and someone must do something about justice in the country. the usual targets are rich Haitians like this family who had to pay 10-15,000 dollars for the release. but even ordinary Haitians are abducted for as little money as $10. Haiti has 8.5 million people. Finding someone who's been kidnapped can be like looking for a needle in a haystack, especially in the urban sprawl of the capitol.

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