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The violent lifeworlds of young Haitians
Gangs as livelihood in a Port-au-Prince ghetto. The Haiti Youth Project

Henriette Lunde

Fafo-paper 2012:03

Nettutgave

Forskningstema: Vold og konflikter, Global utdanning

Seven months after the forced departure of elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004, the ghettos in Port-au-Prince erupted in a violent uprising costing thousands of lives. The tension simmered for seven months until the use of force against demonstrators by the interim government caused it to blow up. The sudden outburst of massive organized violence came as a surprise to the interim government, as well as to the UN peacekeepers.

Could what happened in 2004 happen again today? By analyzing the social structures facilitating the rapid mobilization of armed resistance in the Port-au-Prince ghettos, together with the incentives for local youth to join armed groups and participate in the fighting, this report points to important parallels between post-Aristide and post-earthquake Haiti. Examining these factors raises questions such as how best to address both the security challenge and the living conditions for marginalized urban youth in present-day Haiti.

Utgitt: 2012 Id-nr.: 10149