This story is part of a special investigation into Haiti’s gang crisis and potential solutions. To view the full series visit our special section, Gangs in Haiti: A deeper look.
Along the side of the road in an area near Bel-Air called “Wireless,” five young men sit chatting under the afternoon sun, each holding an assault rifle. With no insignia or special affiliations, locals refer to such armed men simply as “Bel-Air bandits.”
Still, these men are the ones residents count on to defend Wireless from G9 Family & Allies, the notorious group led by Jimmy “Barbecue” Chèrizier, which has attacked the area several times. Often, the young men place large objects, once an abandoned shipping container, on Carrefour Peyan, the area’s thoroughfare, to block G9 from invading Bel-Air — again.