Originally: UN police chief in Haiti says new strategy needed to tackle urban crime

10 June

The private sector is pursuing a series of discussions with the authorities responsible for guaranteeing security in the country. Today it was UN Police Superintendent David Beer’s turn. He went to the Chamber of Commerce in Port-au-Prince to answer questions from members of the business sector. Superintendent Beer reminded them that the CIVPOL (UN Civilian Police in Haiti) mission is to give support to the national police and enable it to guarantee the people’s security.

He said that armed criminals are using urban guerrilla tactics in order to destabilize the current process. He said that CIVPOL did not foresee the current situation during the mission’s deployment in Haiti. Superintendent Beer spoke as follows:

(Beer) The mission that was planned and envisioned has no relation to the mission we now have. We did not anticipate the current urban war. This is a far more difficult task than the tasks we carried out when we began with the creation of the PNH (Haitian National Police) ten years ago. It is a lot more difficult now because it is like a body that requires surgical intervention to restore certain things we had before.

Concerning the issue of corruption, in particular, there will have to be a surgical intervention. The progress and reconstruction process of the PNH will take time. This will require a lot of time, and we cannot begin the reconstruction process now.

For the time being, we have to focus on the operations, on ways to protect the people, the commercial centers and so on. In other words, we can say in a sense that there is an urban war, criminal actions that are carried out to destabilize the government, to attack the PNH and MINUSTAH, and to thwart the electoral process.