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Published on Jan 18, 2010
The devastating January 2010 earthquake in Haiti brought back memories of an earlier time in Port au Prince and this reporters time there in September 1994. 'Operation Restore Democracy', the Americans called it. It was another chapter in the history of United States intervention in the country which dates to the late 19th century. The US action in 1994 ordered by President Clinton was designed to end a three year period of military rule, increasing repression, and growing instability. Arriving in Port au Prince that month, we found the streets controlled by violent groups of armed gangs called 'attaches.' The lives of ordinary Haitians were filled with danger. The short video story posted here provides a glimpse of that chaotic period. In October 2004, the elected leader of Haiti Jean-Bertand Aristide returned, only to have his rule collapse later in a cloud of corruption charges and recriminations. The sad and murky story of Haiti continued. In the absence of law and order in Port au Prince in January 2010, it seems likely that the gangs will rule the streets once again,