According to reports published on March 13-14, clashes between rival gangs have intensified in recent days in Port-au-Prince, particularly in the La Saline neighborhood. Local sources indicate intergang violence resulted in localized transportation and business disruptions after gunfire was reported sporadically throughout La Saline. On March 13, automatic gunfire was heard near Boulevard Harry Truman in Port-au-Prince, which was later attributed to criminal gangs. Further such violence and associated disruptions are likely in the coming days and weeks.
Crime rates are very high in urban areas throughout Haiti due in part to gang activity. Theft, kidnapping for ransom, and extortion are all common. Foreigners are often specifically targeted due to their presumed wealth.
Individuals in Haiti, particularly in the abovementioned area, are advised to remain vigilant, avoid all protests and demonstrations, follow instructions issued by local authorities, and take security precautions (e.g. keep signs of wealth concealed, drive with doors locked and windows rolled up, avoid walking alone, avoid traveling in isolated urban areas at night, etc.). As criminals are often armed, do not attempt to resist would-be attackers or thieves and give up all demanded objects to avoid escalating the situation.
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