Friday, January 29, 2010

Criminals in Haiti 'raping quake survivors, trafficking children'

Criminals in Haiti are preying on vulnerable earthquake survivors, even raping women, in makeshift camps set up in Port-au-Prince after the disaster.

"With the blackout that's befallen the Haitian capital, bandits are taking advantage to harass and rape women and young girls under the tents," Haiti’s police, chief Mario Andresol, said yesterday.

"We have more than 7,000 detainees in the streets who escaped from the national penitentiary the evening of the earthquake ... It took us five years to apprehend them. Today they are running wild." Rachelle Dolce, who is living at a large makeshift camp on the Petionville Club golf course, said that she thought a rape had occurred outside her tent the previous night. She said that she heard men making noise and a woman struggling.

The deputy head of the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti, Anthony Banbury, said that desperate survivors waiting in line for the trickle of foreign aid reaching Haiti were sometimes turning violent.