Three hundred fifteen people have taken refuge in the Saint-Louis de Gonzague school, which is in the Delmas district in Haiti, running rife with gang wars.
According to The Washington Post, the shelter at the high school in Haiti’s capital Saturday was the location where two rival gangs were fighting again. This follows a host of deaths and destroyed homes that have terrorized the area in recent weeks.
Francisco Seriphin, a general coordinator for the religious community group Kizit, said many of the children sheltering at the school came without their parents. Classes are out for summer vacation, but since the attacks, many rooms have been converted into dormitories. During the day, young people can be found playing soccer, basketball, or joking in the schoolyard.
“We need a lot of help,” said Jean Michelet, a 16-year-old who said he was wounded on the day that the gang battles erupted in early July. “I was home on the day the war started. It was a lot of shooting. A bullet went through the roof, and it hit me in the head,” he added.
Michelet said a lot of people had been killed during the gunbattles. “The situation is really bad,” he said.
The violence continues after the unsolved assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and grows exponentially worse. Attempts to form a coalition government have faltered, and efforts to hold general elections have stalled.
At least 17 people believed to be Haitian migrants were killed early Sunday when an alleged human-smuggling speedboat they were on capsized in the Bahamas, The Post cited to authorities. Another 25 aboard the vessel were rescued, and a search was continuing Sunday afternoon for others still unaccounted for, Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis said at a news conference.Davis said there were about 60 people on the boat when it capsized and that the destination of the vessel was Miami.
The U.N. has deemed Haiti “too dangerous” for them to help people trapped in the neighborhood. A spokesperson for the U.N. Human Rights Council, Jeremy Laurence, said most of the victims “were not directly involved in gangs” but were targeted by them.
Currently, Haitian citizens are being denied access to drinking water and food to control the population, aggravating malnutrition and other living conditions.