Armed gang violence in Haiti has reportedly decreased due to a vigilante justice group, "Bwa Kale", which killed around 160 suspected criminals in a month, according to the local human rights group CARDH which also says around 60% of Port-au-Prince is under gang control.
"Bwa Kale" reportedly emerged in response to extreme gang cruelty, government ineffectiveness, and international inaction, becoming a symbol of desperate resistance. The vigilante group is predominantly comprised of young individuals and even some children.
Since the group lynched and set fire to over a dozen suspected gang members in the capital Pout-au-Prince on the early morning of April 24, CARDH said "almost no" kidnappings had occurred in the last month, and gang-linked murders fell to 43, down from 146 in the first three weeks of April.
"Without making a value judgment, the 'Bwa Kale' movement has in just one month produced convincing, visible results; fear has changed sides," CARDH said in the report. "Both kidnappings and gang-related killings have fallen drastically," Reuters reports.
Despite fewer reported violent incidents, Haiti's humanitarian crisis continues, driven by heavily armed gangs suspected of mass displacement, kidnappings, rapes, and murders.
CARDH has called for more international support, better resources for the Haitian police, and collaboration between civilians and authorities to prevent an escalating cycle of violence.