Haiti police keep pressure on armed bandits



Haiti and U.N. authorities said Wednesday they plan to keep the pressure on well armed gangs that have been terrorizing motorists and residents along a key road linking Port-au-Prince with several cities on the south.

The announcement comes as Haiti police inspector Charles Francois, in charge of the tiny police force in Petit-Goave, announced the arrest of Winnie Wilson, aka “Sonson.” Wilson is accused of holding up the director of the hospital for state employees. Armed bandits disarmed the director’s security guards and stole cash.

For weeks, Haiti police, with backup from United Nations security forces, have cracked down on criminal activity along National Road 2, which runs through Petit-Goave, a normally quiet coastal city. They have set up checkpoints along the highway, and have also been conducting 24-hour patrols in Petit-Goave, 40 miles west of the capital, searching for armed bandits.

On Saturday, upset that police had thwarted efforts to set up a roadblock, one of the gang leaders took to the radio airwaves and threatened “to kill police.”

More than 100 specially trained, heavily armed Haiti police officers have been deployed from the capital by authorities to shore up the city’s 38-person police force and restore calm to Petit-Goave.

Police and U.N. authorities say they will remain in the area until all of the bandits are captured or decide to put down their weapons and leave. SS

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