On February 7, 2019, Haiti erupted in revolt. Protesters fed up with miserable living conditions and enraged at recent government embezzlement scandals took their anger out on the luxury cars of the country’s small wealthy minority. In the following days, demonstrators clashed with police, assaulted President Jovenel Moïse’s house with rocks, shut down transportation and commerce with road blockades, looted, burned down buildings, and facilitated a jailbreak in which 78 prisoners escaped. The police were unable to reach the prison because of burning barricades.
While some escaped, others were arrested, injured, or killed by police. The government was not lenient. According to the Haiti Information Project, in the ensuing months the Haitian government has armed and paid gangs to attack and burn areas inhabited by rebels.