Police in Haiti blame gang members for slaying of 3 officers

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s National Police said it is investigating the recent slaying of three officers that it blamed on gang members.

The agency said a gang called “Ti Makak,” which means Little Macaques, killed the officers Tuesday in Laboule, a largely gated community just south of Port-au-Prince.

It is also the site of recent turf wars between gangs that have led to other killings in the area. Two journalists were fatally shot and set on fire in January, and a former senator who worked for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor and his nephew were killed in August in the same fashion.

The gang violence comes amid growing unrest over Haiti’s economic troubles. People protested in the streets Thursday for a second day over the government’s announcement of increases in prices for gasoline and other fuels.

Police said Wednesday that they had opened an investigation into the killings of the officers, which the statement called an “odious and repugnant” act.

A video circulating on social media appears to show the slain officers sprawled on the ground, stripped of their shirts, with various guns and automatic weapons lying on their bodies.

“Here they are, here they are,” a man says as the camera pans across the bodies.

Gangs have grown more powerful since the July 7, 2021, assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and have overpowered police, who are understaffed and have limited resources.

The international community has tried to help boost Haiti’s National Police by providing training and resources in recent months.

The increase in violence prompted police to announce Thursday that all gun license permits were being suspended, adding that security companies would take the measures needed to comply with the new order.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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