Anatomy of Haiti’s kidnapping epidemic: No one seems immune

Miami Herald, by Jacqueline Charles, March 8, 2020

What Giscard Bogard remembers most about his recent kidnapping in Haiti is not the beating he took in the car with the butt of a gun or the blood splattered on the walls of the tiny, candle-lit room where he and a friend were held captive for two days.

And it’s not the multiple gunshots regularly fired inside the teeming seaside Port-au-Prince slum, built on top of a landfill, where he was held.

It was the faces he saw the day of his release. The placid faces of the women and the children inside Village de Dieu, Village of God, who ignored him as he was publicly led at gunpoint by one of his captors, past the narrow corridors and mosquito-infested gullies, after his uncle paid his ransom.

“Everybody was selling their little food. Music was playing in the background, people were watching TV at their houses. Kids were playing and guys were walking around with big guns at every corner, like a military base,” said Bogard, 36, a Haitian-American U.S. Navy veteran. “Everyone is immune to it. Everyone knew what was happening. It was shocking to me. Even the little kids, they are immune to it by now.”

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