Gang Takes Hundreds Hostage In Hospital

An armed gang surrounded a Port-au-Prince hospital in Haiti on November 15, trapping hundreds of women and children, including newborns, until police rescued them, the Associated Press reported.

Jose Ulysse, the director of the Fontaine Hospital Center told the Associated Press that gangs began burning homes around the hospital while preventing those inside the hospital from leaving.

Ulysse said officers from Haiti’s National Police arrived in three armored trucks and evacuated 40 children and 70 patients, including children on oxygen.

According to Ulysse, the armed men were members of the Brooklyn gang, one of the many armed gangs that largely control the city of Port-au-Prince since the 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse.

The Brooklyn gang is led by Gabriel Jean-Pierre, who goes by the name Ti Gabriel. The gang, which controls several communities in Cite Soleil including the Brooklyn community, is involved in hijacking goods, extortion, and violence, according to the United Nations.

Ti Gabriel also leads an alliance of gangs known as G-Pep. The United Nations reported that the G-Pep alliance and its allies make their money through kidnapping for ransom.

Haitian criminal gangs have grown so powerful that many are far better armed than the Haitian National Police.

In July, around 20 armed men stormed a hospital run by the group Doctors Without Borders and kidnapped a patient from an operating theater.

On the same day the Fontaine Hospital Center was surrounded, the FBI announced that Haitian gang leader Vitel’Homme Innocent had been placed on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List.

In October, Innocent was indicted for the 2021 kidnappings of sixteen missionaries, the 2022 murder of missionary Marie Franklin, and the kidnapping of her husband Jean.

Innocent leads the Kraze Bayre gang.

The US State Department has offered up to $2 million for information leading to Innocent’s apprehension.