A gang leader in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, was murdered in his seaside slum Thursday, setting off waves of celebration among residents who said his gang had terrorized them for months. The Miami Herald reports that dozens of residents of the Cité Soleil slum have been killed in warfare between a gang loyal to ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and another led by a man known as Labanyé, who supported Aristide until 2003 but later aligned himself with the political opposition Group 184.
The violence since Sept. 30 virtually shut down the sprawling slum and spread into other parts of the capital, raising concerns about the nation’s stability after Aristide’s ouster in a rebellion one year ago. Cité Soleil residents said Labanyé, whose real name was Robinson Tomas, was killed by two of his lieutenants with support from a rival gang led by a man known as Dréad Wilné. At least two other members of Labanyé’s group were also killed. Slum residents were jubilant, and about 1,000 people raced through the streets with Aristide posters, singing and dancing with joy. ”Labanyé is dead! Long live Aristide!” they shouted.