As the territorial hold of Haiti’s armed gangs continues to grow, to the point of placing the country’s capital under siege, one of the most important gang leaders was extradited to the United States on Tuesday May 3.
Incarcerated since 2015 in the prison of Port-au-Prince, Germine Joly, nicknamed “Yonyo”, is being prosecuted by the US Federal Police (FBI) for “import of weapons of war” and “abduction for ransom of American citizens”said a statement from the Haitian police.
The gang “400 mawozo”, which he continued to lead from his cell, had abducted, last fall, a group of seventeen people made up of North American missionaries and their relatives, including five children. Since Friday, a Dominican diplomat has been kidnapped by this same armed band and a ransom of 500,000 dollars has been demanded for his release, according to a Dominican media.
Deadly clashes between two rival gangs
The area controlled for several years by the “400 mawozo” is highly strategic, as it is the only road access to the north of the country as well as between the Haitian capital and the Dominican Republic.
For ten days, clashes between this armed gang and another gang have completely paralyzed this northern suburb of Port-au-Prince. Hundreds of families were forced to flee the area and at least twenty civilians were killed, according to the very partial assessment of the violence that the Haitian civil protection was able to establish last Thursday.
Since June 2021, the authorities have already lost control of the only road access that connects Port-au-Prince to the southern half of the country because, over the space of two kilometers, the national road is completely under the control of armed bands.