After being hit with a devastating earthquake and then a tropical storm, Haiti clearly did not need this latest problem: Gangs kidnapping doctors. One physician rushing to deliver a baby via emergency C-section was kidnapped in the capital of Haiti Tuesday, and the woman and her baby died. Another doctor, an orthopedic surgeon treating earthquake victims, was kidnapped a day later. On Thursday, a network of eight private hospitals declared a two-day shutdown, except for emergency patients, to protest the unchecked gang activity. “Kidnapping is one thing. But the fact that the mother and child died is unacceptable,” Ronald Laroche, founder of the Port-au-Prince hospitals, told the Miami Herald. Kidnappers have contacted both families, but there were no details on ransom demands.
Ariel Henry, Haiti’s prime minister, said that though the rival gangs apparently responsible for the kidnappings were supposed to have a truce to help earthquake relief get through, police presence was going to be ramped up to protect doctors and aid workers. Police are focusing on the Martissant region, which has a reputation for being rough, per the AP. But the woman and child died in Petionville, a quieter, wealthier part of Port-au-Prince. Aid distribution has been slow—and tense. Police fired warning shots over young men packed into a crowd against the fence around a small airport in Les Cayes, Al Jazeera reports. Residents of villages along routes to harder hit areas are building barricades to stop aid packages from passing them by, too. (Read more Haiti earthquake stories.)