In a sign of mounting fear and desperation in Haiti, a large crowd gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince Friday.
An estimated 1,000 people flocked to the grounds around the building, following unsubstantiated rumors on radio and social media that the United States will be handing out humanitarian visas.
Wednesday’s assassination of President Jovenel Moise’s has turned what was already a country in turmoil into a nation running scared.
Many shops as well as some government offices remain closed despite Prime Minster Claude Joseph’s call on Thursday to remain calm and get back to business.
The bold attack in the middle of the night at the president’s residence that cost Moise his life and critically injured the first lady is the latest expression of the insecurity felt by the Haitian people.
Weeks before the assassination, authorities estimated that 60 percent of the country is subjected to gang violence that includes rape, killings, and kidnappings.
Armed with high-caliber weapons, gang members roam the streets of the capital with impunity.
Several sections of Port-au-Prince are so dangerous that not even the police dare enter.
More than 14,000 people have left their homes in search of safety, many ending up in shelters.