RealNews

In Haiti, Danger Slices Through the Air

Michelet Etienne was kicking a soccer ball around the warren of cinderblock hovels where he lives when a U.N. patrol thundered by and gunmen leaped from their hiding places to spray it with bullets. When the shooting was over, the 12-year-old lay bleeding and unconscious amid piles of garbage and potholes filled with fetid water. A stray bullet had blown out part of his skull and severed his spinal cord, rendering his skinny legs useless. “I can’t bring my feet together,” the listless child whimpered in the crowded recovery ward of St. Joseph’s Hospital a week later. “I can’t move my feet.” Like hundreds of other hapless bystanders over the last year, Michelet was caught in the crossfire between gunmen and besieged peacekeepers, an increasingly dangerous fact of life for the 2.5 million Haitians doomed to the teeming slums of this capital. Full Story

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