More than 400 prisoners are wanted by the police in Haiti, following their escape Thursday, during which 25 people were killed, including the director of the prison located in the suburbs of the capital, announced Friday the authorities.
“Before yesterday’s incident, there were 1,542 prisoners in Croix-des-Bouquets prison. The count made this morning, Friday, shows us that 1,125 prisoners are in cells, ”announced Friday afternoon Frantz Exantus, Secretary of State for Communication, at a press conference in Port-au-Prince.
“Twenty-five people died, including six prisoners and Divisional Inspector Paul Hector Joseph, who was in charge of the prison,” added Mr. Exantus.
“Among those killed, some are ordinary citizens who were killed by the prisoners during their escape,” lamented the government representative.
One of the inmates who died as a result of the escape, gang leader Arnel Joseph was gunned down on Friday during a police check 120 km north of Croix-des-Bouquets prison, from which he turned. escaped the day before.
“Arnel Joseph was killed while attacking a police patrol which had stopped the motorcycle he was on. The police responded and Arnel Joseph died, ”Mr. Exantus detailed.
Accused of being the head of one of Haiti’s main criminal networks, Arnel Joseph was arrested in July 2019.
He had tried, unsuccessfully, to escape for the first time from the Croix-des-Bouquets prison in July 2020, an escape which he had advertised through a video published on social networks a few days before the attempt.
While serving a sentence for murder, Arnel Joseph had already escaped twice from another prison, in Port-au-Prince, in 2010, then in 2017.
Inaugurated in 2012, the high security prison of Croix-des-Bouquets, built with funding from Canada, has a maximum capacity of 872 inmates, although nearly double were still incarcerated there Thursday.