Headline RoundupMarch 4th, 2024

Haiti Declares State of Emergency After Gangs Free 4,000 Prisoners

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Authorities in Haiti declared a 72-hour state of emergency Sunday night after armed gangs broke nearly 4,000 inmates out of the country’s largest prison. 

The Details: The gangs struck while Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry was in Kenya seeking assistance; last week, Kenya pledged to send 1,000 police officers to help Haiti’s government oppose the gangs. A gang leader called for the overthrow of the Haiti’s government, saying, “All of us, the armed groups in the provincial towns and the armed groups in the capital, are united.” On Monday, airlines suspended flights between south Florida and Haiti, and the U.S. called for its citizens to get out of Haiti “as soon as possible.”

For Context: Haiti has been rocked by gang violence for years, particularly since 2021, when the Caribbean country was hit by a magnitude-7.2 earthquake, a severe tropical storm, and the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise. According to AP (Lean Left bias), gangs were estimated to control about 80% of the capital, Port-au-Prince, before Sunday. 

How the Media Covered It: Coverage was common and generally nonpartisan, focusing on a range of angles. CNN (Lean Left bias) featured maps of local gang control and highlighted protesters who blamed Ariel Henry for “rapidly ceding ground to the gangs;” Fox News (Right bias) highlighted Kenya’s involvement and a “days-long gun battle with police.” Some sensational language was present, including “surging violence” in ABC News (Lean Left bias).

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