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Multiple brush fires near Barona Casino. Largest fire is 10-20 acres according to Cal Fire. Structure threatened.

FRONTLINE: Battle For Haiti

Airs Friday, January 14, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Intervention Brigade, Port au Prince Police, Haiti

Haitian police sweep the streets for men suspected of escaping from prison during the January earthquake.
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Above: Haitian police sweep the streets for men suspected of escaping from prison during the January earthquake.

Last year, in the chaos of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, thousands of the country’s worst criminals seized the opportunity to stage a mass escape from the National Penitentiary. One year later, the gang leaders are re-asserting control in the capital, threatening the country’s stability.

With unique access to the police units trying to hunt down the gangsters — and revealing encounters with the gangsters themselves — FRONTLINE examines the uphill fight to rebuild Haiti in the face of deep-rooted corruption and intimidation.

This film also offers intimate portraits of the fearful lives many Haitians are living, as the central government and judicial system routinely fail to maintain order. “Haiti is a nation that committed collective suicide some time ago,” the chief of the UN mission tells FRONTLINE. If the gangs are not defeated, many now believe a new Haiti cannot be born.

FRONTLINE is on Facebook.

Video

Battle For Haiti: Hunting The Gangsters

Above: In this video clip, police and UN forces hunt a gang of escaped prisoners terrorizing the slum neighborhood of La Saline. Last year, in the chaos of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, thousands of the country's worst criminals seized the opportunity to stage a mass escape from the National Penitentiary. One year later, the gang leaders are reasserting control in the capital, threatening the country's stability. The film also offers intimate portraits of the fearful lives many Haitians are living, as the central government and judicial system routinely fail to maintain order.

Video

Battle For Haiti: Rogue Cops And Corrupt Politicians

Above: In this video clip, Haiti's police chief fears rogue cops and corrupt politicians are in league with the gangs. Last year, in the chaos of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, thousands of the country's worst criminals seized the opportunity to stage a mass escape from the National Penitentiary. One year later, the gang leaders are reasserting control in the capital, threatening the country's stability. The film also offers intimate portraits of the fearful lives many Haitians are living, as the central government and judicial system routinely fail to maintain order.

Video

Tilt-Shift, Stop-Motion Squatting In Hillside Haiti

Above: A few miles outside Port-au-Prince is a government-established camp for displaced people — Camp Corail, the only "official" camp in Haiti. Rows and rows of neatly spaced tents provide shelter for thousands of people. But just past Corail, a more "organic" community has sprouted. Nearly 100,000 squatters have taken things into their own hands and taken to the hills. According to the Global Post, they've "constructed shacks with secondhand tarps, poached water from the bladders at Camp Corail and enrolled their children in its schools." The government has yet to respond to these hillside communities that are growing illegally — and quickly. NPR photographer David Gilkey spent a day wandering the community of Cabaret with a tilt-shift lens. An 'Organic' Community In Hillside Haiti, Credit: Photos by David Gilkey; Produced by Claire O'Neill

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