US Urgently Evacuates Embassy In Haiti

The US government has evacuated its embassy in Haiti as violence there spirals out of control. Staff have been airlifted out, and security boosted around the embassy in the capital, Port-au-Prince, after gangs took control of several areas and launched attacks on police stations, the airport, and prisons – allowing more than 3,000 convicts to escape. The gangs are demanding the removal of Prime Minister Ariel Henry from power.

Germany’s ambassador to the country has also departed, along with other representatives of the European Union. Prime Minister Henry is currently in Puerto Rico, having traveled abroad to ask the United Nations for support tackling the violence. He has not made any public statement on the crisis.

The violence is led by notorious gangster Jimmy Chérizier, also known as “Barbecue.” He said he would not stop until Henry was removed from power. “I am ready to make an alliance with the devil, ready to sleep in the same bed as the devil,” he told his supporters.

Previously a policeman, Chérizier compared himself to Martin Luther King last year and denies that his nickname comes from an alleged tendency to set his opponents on fire. He claims it was a name his mother gave him as a child. Judes Jonathas, an independent consultant based in Port-au-Prince, described him as the most powerful man in Haiti, and many people reportedly believe he will take over the country’s government.

The violence in Haiti’s capital has reportedly descended so low that cannibalism has taken hold. Now deleted from Twitter, a video reportedly showing gang members eating human beings on the streets of Port-au-Prince resulted in a shocked response from observers who called it “sadistic” and “the most horrific thing” ever published on the platform.

Some Twitter users, including journalist Dan Cohen, claimed that the video is an old one and not connected to the current wave of violence. He said it features a gang member who ate a human body to terrorize the local population.