Best of AP — Honorable Mention


AP tells stories of loss amid Haiti’s intensifying violence

Jean Claude Celestin stands inside his home in the Butte Boyer neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, May 13, 2022, describing how his home was set on fire during clashes between armed gangs. Gang violence has forced dozens of schools and businesses to close in recent weeks and displaced thousands of families, with many of them seeking temporary shelter in schools and shelters. (AP Photo / Odelyn Joseph)


Pierre Luxama, Evens Sanon, Joseph Odelyn and Dánica Coto have delivered a steady stream of all-formats coverage amid Haiti’s escalating violence as gangs consolidate power in the country’s capital. The unrelenting violence has horrified many who feel the country is unraveling as it tries to recover from the July 7 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse. Thousands of families fled their homes after nearly 200 people were killed in recent gang clashes.

Despite daily kidnappings and the widespread violence, AP’s reporting continues at great personal risk. This enterprising story focuses on survivors who lost loved ones and their homes as the gangs fight each other, seizing territory in Port-au-Prince.

Freelance reporter Sanon found families at a shelter — many of them initially reluctant to talk for fear of being killed — and relayed their harrowing stories to Caribbean text correspondent Coto in Puerto Rico. Coto also conducted in-depth interviews with UNICEF’s representative and the United Nations’ police commissioner in Haiti, providing deep context and revealing the previously unseen level of brutality in the country.

Video journalist Pierre-Richard Luxama and photographer Joseph Odelyn traveled to the shelter to interview more families and document their squalid living conditions. They also visited one neighborhood at the center of the most recent gang war to show charred homes — some still containing the remains of people who did not escape.

The story was widely used by our customers and gave us a clear-eyed picture of how dangerous Haiti has become.

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