The head of Haiti’s National Police Academy was shot dead Friday in a gang-plagued part of the capital Port-au-Prince, officials told AFP, the latest in a series of deadly attacks in the violence-torn Caribbean nation.
Harington Rigaud “was shot in the head not far from the academy,” said police spokesman Garry Desrosiers, adding that the attackers also stole Rigaud's vehicle and kidnapped his driver.
The attack took place in a neighborhood controlled by gang leader Vitelhomme Innocent, who is wanted in the US over his participation in the kidnapping of 16 American missionaries in October 2021.US authorities have offered up to $1 million for information leading to his capture.
For years, Haiti has faced spiraling security, economic and health crises. The situation was only made worse by the assassination of president Jovenel Moise in 2021, with gangs taking an increasingly strong hold and with the country battling an outbreak of cholera.
Over the past year, some 100,000 people have fled their homes to escape the violence of armed gangs, according to the United Nations.
The Haitian police force, which has some 13,000 officers, according to UN figures, or approximately one police officer per 1,000 inhabitants, is insufficient to tackle the gangs.
Last month, Haiti asked for international assistance to help it deal with the security crisis.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has asked the Security Council to consider sending an international armed force to Haiti, but no decision has yet been taken.