Haiti prison break – 400 escape, 25 dead
Haitian authorities announced Friday that more than 400 inmates escaped and 25 people died in a prison breakout, making it the country’s largest and deadliest one in a decade, with the prison director and a powerful gang leader among those killed.
The prison is known for a 2014 breakout in which more than 300 of the 899 inmates being held there at the time escaped. Some believed that attack was designed to free Clifford Brandt, the son of a prominent businessman, who had been imprisoned since 2012 for allegedly kidnapping the adult children of a rival businessman. Brandt was captured two days later near the Dominican Republic border.
The high security prison, inaugurated in 2012, was built with Canadian funding and was home to 1,542 prisoners – almost double its capacity of 872 inmates.
One of the inmates who died was gang leader Arnel Joseph, who was gunned down on Friday at a police check 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of the prison. “Arnel Joseph was killed while attacking a police patrol which had stopped the motorcycle he was on.
Haiti’s largest prison breakout in recent history occurred after the devastating 2010 earthquake in which more than 4,200 inmates fled the notorious National Penitentiary in downtown Port-au-Prince.