Jess Obert

Photographer and Filmmaker
      
Thousands displaced in Port-au-Prince
Location: Port au Prince, Haiti
Nationality: American
Biography: I am a visual journalist and filmmaker based between NYC and Haiti. I worked at the The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in Washington, DC, and my work has been published in various publications including Al Jazeera English, Buzzfeed News, The... read on
Public Story
Thousands displaced in Port-au-Prince
More than 19,000 people have been displaced from gang violence in the capital of Haiti, and following the assassination of President Moïse on 7 July 2021, and an absence of state, those affected are being further isolated.

Although roads were inaccessible, blocked by armed gangs cutting off Port-au-Prince from the south, I visited one displacement center in June 2021 in Carrefour, a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city which housed more than 1500 people.

In the weeks leading up to Moïse’s assassination, gangs shot and killed Darline’s husband, burning his body and forcing the 34-year-old to flee with her children. I sat with another woman, Sala, 49, who came to the center with her five children. A crowd began to form around us, it was hot and cramped, some kids played cards and tag. She had worked as a Madan Sara before being forced to flee, and would transport produce from the provinces to sell in Port-au-Prince. The gangs burnt her home and took her commerce. The street they lived on was called Lajwa, Creole for joy.

"We are in a war zone."

Haiti gang violence and security vacuum thwarts aid delivery
Humanitarian needs were rising before President Moïse’s assassination. Now, they’re even worse, with aid groups struggling to reach people.
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