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Haiti: Inside the capital city taken hostage by brutal gangs


In Port-au-Prince you cannot see the boundaries, but you must know where they are. Your life may depend on it. Competing gangs are carving up the Haitian capital, kidnapping, raping, and killing at will. They demarcate their territory in blood. Cross from one gang's turf to another, and you may not make it back.


Those who live here carry a mental map, dividing this teeming city into green, yellow, and red zones. Green means gang free, yellow can be safe today and deadly tomorrow, and red is a no-go area. The green area is shrinking as heavily armed gangs tighten their grip.


Armed groups control - and terrorise - at least 60% of the capital and its surroundings, according to Haitian human rights groups. They encircle the city, controlling roads in and out. And the UN says the gangs killed almost 1,000 people here between January and June of this year.

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