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Security beefed up in Haiti capital

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CCTV, January 21, 2010
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One week after the quake, looters are scavenging Port-au-Prince for whatever they can get their hands on. Security has been beefed up in the capital. International officials say it's necessary to provide relief.


In Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince, Peruvian peacekeepers try to hold back a crowd using batons and riot shields.

Just four blocks from the presidential palace, hundreds of looters are rampaging through downtown. Haitian police officers try to keep civilians away from the looting, for their own safety.

Controlling outbursts of violence has slowed the distribution of supplies, leaving many Haitians still without help, a week after the earthquake.

Floriano Peixoto, UN Force Commander in Haiti, said, "There are two main problems in Haiti and they are connected. The problem of the distribution of humanitarian aid and the problem of security. They are related. The moment we have distribution of humanitarian aid, the less likely we are to have security incidents."

Prices in the market have soared. A 25 kilogram bag of rice now sells for 25-hundred gourdes, compared with 900 before the quake. Some impoverished Haitians are left with no choice but to steal to survive.

Relief workers say they fear visiting some parts of the city, where gangsters have reportedly taken control.


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