Some thousand Haitians gathered on the grounds of the United States embassy in Port-au-Prince Friday — as they sought a believed chance at safety and opportunity.
The rush is in light of unsubstantiated rumours circulating on the radio and across social media that the North American country would be handing out humanitarian visas.
A Haitian citizen waiting outside the U.S. Embassy spoke to the media.
“Faced with this reality the Haitian people are left to themselves. They can not go out, they want to go to safe places. When people heard that the US Embassy was a safe place, they rushed here. It is not because of the rumours that the embassy is giving exile, no.”
Desperation fills the air in the capital city following the assassination on Wednesday of President Jovenel Moise.
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.
Despite Prime Minister Claude Joseph’s call on Thursday for calm and business as usual, Several stores and government locales remain closed.
Weeks before the assassination, authorities estimated that 60% of the country is subjected to gang violence that includes rape, killings and kidnappings.
Armed with high-calibre 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.