Sixteen Haitian family members found dead at home, cause unknown

PORT-AU-PRINCE: Sixteen people from the same family were found dead in a remote mountain town in southern Haiti, a local official said, with local news outlets noting the deaths were reported a day after the family attended a funeral.

The bodies were found in the town of Seguin, about 30 miles (48 km) south of capital Port-au-Prince. It was not clear what caused the deaths, but local witnesses told Reuters that it might be a case of poisoning.
Police and health services were deployed to the area to investigate, according to delegate Jude Pierre Michel Lafontant, the top official in Haiti’s South East department.

While the deaths have not been linked to gangs, Haitian criminal groups have grown increasingly powerful, in part due to money extorted from businesses as well as residents and families of kidnapping victims, a report from Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime showed earlier this month. Last year, gang activity claimed nearly 5,000 lives, according to a report from the United Nations, as the Caribbean nation’s out-gunned police struggle to quell the violence.


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