Who Are the Gangs That Have Overrun Haiti’s Capital?

Haiti, a Caribbean nation with a long history of upheaval, is enduring one of its worst periods of chaos.

Gangs have shut down the airport; looted seaports, public buildings and shops; and attacked nearly a dozen police stations. Roads are blocked, cutting off the food supply, and 4,600 inmates were freed after prisons were attacked.

The prime minister, Ariel Henry, is stranded in Puerto Rico while gang members wreak havoc, demand his resignation and hold up dozens of trucks filled with World Food Program food shipments.

A state of emergency around Port-au-Prince, the capital, was extended another month.

With the government on the verge of collapse, the United States and Caribbean nations are working to come up with a resolution — including a plan for a transitional government — that would restore some semblance of order to the troubled nation and allow Mr. Henry to return home.

Who are the gangs and what do they want?

Experts estimate that up to 200 gangs operate in Haiti, about 20 of them in Port-au-Prince. They range from small groups of a few dozen young men who share pistols to crews of roughly 1,500 men with weekly salaries and automatic weapons who belong to hierarchal organizations with bosses.

Two main gang federations, G-Pèp and the G-9 Family, control many of the poorest neighborhoods in the capital. The criminal groups and their allies sometimes collude, but more often clash.

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