25 killed in Haitian jailbreak
More than 400 inmates have escaped and 25 people have died in a prison breakout in Haiti, authorities say, making it the country’s largest and deadliest one in a decade. A prison director and a powerful gang leader were among those killed.
The breakout at Croix-des-Bouquets prison on the outskirts of the capital Port-au-Prince on Thursday was believed to be an attempt to free gang leader Arnel Joseph, who had been Haiti’s most wanted fugitive until his 2019 arrest on charges including rape, kidnapping and murder.
Joseph, who was reportedly still wearing prison chains on his ankles, was being ridden on a motorcycle through the Artibonite area in the town of L’Estere on Friday a day after his escape when he was spotted at a checkpoint, police spokesman Gary Desrosiers told Associated Press. He said Joseph pulled out a gun and died in an exchange of gunfire with police.
Joseph ruled Village de Dieu, or Village of God, a shantytown in Port-au-Prince, and other communities, including some in Artibonite, which is Haiti’s largest department.
Authorities have not yet provided much detail about the breakout except to say that 60 inmates have been recaptured and the investigation is ongoing. State secretary, Frantz Exantus, said authorities have created several commissions to investigate who organised the breakout and why. Among those killed was the prison director, identified as Paul Joseph Hector.