Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

  • Russian aid convoy drives into Ukraine

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Reporter’s IS captors taunted family, asked for €100m ransom

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Americas

Looters exploit chaos in quake aftermath as US troops arrive

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-01-16

Looters and robbers have taken to the streets in Port-au-Prince due to the chaos that has ensued after the quake and a lack of law enforcement. Meanwhile, the first of 10,000 US troops have arrived in the devastated country.

AFP - Haitian authorities are rounding up troublemakers to prevent sporadic looting from turning into wider violence in the aftermath of the Caribbean nation’s devastating earthquake, a senior security official said.

Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has a history of street violence and looting during all-too frequent bouts of political unrest and natural disaster in its volatile recent history.



“There have been some attempts to make trouble. There are thieves coming out,” Haitian police inspector-general Jean-Yonel Trecile told Reuters late on Friday.

“To make sure this does not spread, we have taken a number of these people off the streets. We have arrested about 50 people. I hope now we will stay peaceful.”

Shooting has broken out several times in downtown Port-au-Prince, witnesses say, since Tuesday’s earthquake, killing tens of thousands of people.

Some refugees, in makeshift camps all over the coastal capital, say thieves are preying on their meager possessions, while looters have been carrying goods out of a few shops.

But Haiti’s feared gangs do not appear to be terrorizing the streets as they have in the past, locals say. The desperation of the homeless and hungry also has so far not turned into mass protests or ransackings, although many worry that may still happen.

Police count losses too

Trecile, one of several inspector-generals leading the 9,000-strong police force, said it was crucial for Haitians to remain calm and united.

“No one is responsible for this, there is no one to blame, we are all in this together,” he said. “Those of us who have survived need to be courageous to cross this difficult step, show solidarity and help one another.”

Trecile said about half of the Haitian police force was working with the rest caught up in the disaster and trying to help their families. At least 50 policemen were dead, he said.

“The priorities for those of us working is to help control the vehicles in the street, distribute food, look for bodies, and protect the gas stations,” he said in the interview at a police base near the airport where Haitian President Rene Preval is based after the partial collapse of the presidential palace.

As a former soldier, Trecile has lived through plenty in Haiti, from the fall of governments to the passage of hurricanes.  “I’ve never seen anything like this, in all my years,” he said, shaking his head.

He and other officials said they were grateful for the help of U.N. peacekeepers already stationed here and U.S. military personnel arriving in droves.

“We are working well together,” he said. “We really need them.”

 

Date created : 2010-01-16

  • HAITI EARTHQUAKE

    UN chief Ban Ki-moon calls for $562 million in aid from donors

    Read more

  • HAITI EARTHQUAKE

    40,000 buried in mass graves, another 100,000 deaths estimated

    Read more

  • EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI

    The third day after the earthquake in images

    Read more

COMMENT(S)