Thousands more in Haiti at risk of forced eviction
Approximately 100 families have been forcibly evicted from an informal settlement in Haiti in continuance of an illegal eviction process that started in December 2013. Thousands more people may be at risk of being made homeless.
The same justice of peace (juge de paix) who led the forced eviction of more than 200 families from the settlement of Mozayik in Canaan, Port-au-Prince, between 7-10 December 2013 returned to the area on the morning of 30 January. He was accompanied by police officers and a group of men armed with machetes and sticks who proceeded to forcibly evict approximately 100 families from a neighbouring area known as Village Grâce de Dieu.
Residents said that the police fired their guns into the air and also used teargas against them. At least three people are reported to have been injured, including a 4-year-old child and an 84-year-old man. A makeshift structure that was being used as a school was torn down and a water tank that served thousands of people was also destroyed.
The police returned at 5am on 3 February and reportedly fired their guns into the air once more. In order to stop further forced evictions, the residents blocked the highway that runs between their community and the Caribbean Sea. The police used teargas to try to disperse them and there are reports of two people requiring hospitalization after having been beaten by the police. No further evictions were reported.
Residents stated they were given no notice of the eviction and that the justice of peace claimed he was completing the eviction process that started in Mozayik on 7 December, which was based on a court order issued in June. However, Mozayik residents stated that they were not given prior notification of the 7 December eviction and therefore they did not have the opportunity to challenge the decision. The court order apparently only mentions ten of the residents, while over 300 families have now been evicted. Several thousands of people living in the area concerned by the order are now at risk of forced eviction.