PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Bandits in Haiti are preying on vulnerable earthquake survivors, even raping women, in makeshift camps which were set up in the capital of Port-au-Prince after the disaster.
"With the blackout that's befallen the Haitian capital, bandits are taking advantage to harass and rape women and young girls under the tents," Haiti’s national police chief Mario Andresol said yesterday.
"We have more than 7,000 detainees in the streets who escaped from the National Penitentiary the evening of the earthquake... It took us five years to apprehend them. Today they are running wild."
Rachelle Dolce, who is living at a large makeshift camp on the Petionville Club Golf Course, said she thought a rape had occurred outside her tent the previous night. She said she heard men making noise and a woman struggling.
"I heard a fight outside, and I saw panties on the ground," she said. "I started to shout a lot, and they left."
Figures for the number of crimes were not available but women's organizations have already detailed a number of cases and alerted the United Nations mission in Haiti, Andresol said.