The Forgotten Crisis
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Ravaged by violence and poverty, one of the most beautiful, yet poorest countries in the world clings to the small hope that things might get better. Haiti has become paralyzed as warring groups clash over territory.

ABC News’ Matt Rivers reported from some of the most desperate areas of Haiti, where many live in near-famine conditions.

Chapter 1: Gang Violence in Port-au-Prince
One Haitian, one machete. There’s only one thing that the gangs here are afraid of: the machete.
Mertil Marcelin, Leader in the Bwa Kale Movement
VIDEO:  'The Forgotten Crisis,' Part 1: Gang violence overwhelms Haiti amid political turmoil

Gangs have long been an issue in Haiti but after the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021, their power and the accompanying violence has exploded. According to the United Nations, at least 846 civilians were killed in Haiti in the first three months of 2023.

Cité Soleil is a Port-au-Prince neighborhood of hundreds of thousands of people. It’s one of the most desolate slums in the world and the center of a gang war. The gang controlling one particular section allowed ABC News into the neighborhood.

Port-au-Prince is the capital and most populous city in Haiti.
Children, separated from their parents due to the gang war in the city of Cite Soleil, are seen at a shelter in Delmas, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 24, 2022. (Georges Harry Rouzier/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Chapter 2: The Struggle to Survive
We were kidnapped for three days. They took all of our money and dropped us somewhere while asking our families for ransom for our freedom.
Decimis Modeline, Gonaïves
VIDEO:  'The Forgotten Crisis,' Part 2: Haitians struggle to survive

Gonaives is the city at the center of Haiti’s food production with mangoes as their primary crop. But today, the roads in and out of the city are completely controlled by gangs, making it near impossible for produce to reach those who need it most. ABC News met a group of women who were kidnapped while trying to bring goods to sell at the market.

The chaos and violence has driven record levels of migration, with hundreds of thousands of Haitians leaving. Ile Tortue, or Turtle Island, has become home to an industry of human smuggling, where would-be migrants can pay thousands of dollars in the hopes of a better life in the United States.

Gonaïves is a city in western Haiti, about 90 miles from Port-au-Prince. Île de la Tortue, or Turtle Island, has a history of smuggling and illicit activity that goes back hundreds of years.
A man takes a little girl aboard a sailboat that is traveling to Trou Chouchou, a commune of Petit-Goave, Haiti, Apr. 5, 2023. (Richard Pierrina/AFP via Getty Images)
Haitian migrants hurry after crossing the Rio Bravo to seek political asylum in the US, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, May 20, 2022. (Herika Martinez/AFP via Getty Images)