M. Scott Brauer: Haiti
Photographs and Text by New York-based photographer M. Scott Brauer: The UN has been a presence in Haiti for some time, but there are even places in the capital where the soldiers fear to tread. Their strongholds in some areas of Port-au-Prince come under fire every day, and their job forming an infrastructure for the city is all but impossible. As one Haitian told me, no one in Haiti now started the problems, so no one knows how to end them. The United Nations believes it needs to show its force in the capital to maintain order. Tanks roll through the streets, and many neighborhoods are constantly patrolled by fully-armed soldiers. Many Haitians believe the UN presence has made the country more chaotic than it was in previous years, while others believe the UN presence is vitally important to Haiti's future. One shopkeeper in Bel Air said he would not live in the neighborhood if it weren't for the UN. Some rumors suggest that the UN has opened fire in the city without provocation. Everyone has their own take on the country. Back and forth, back and forth. All of the following photographs are from two days in the last week of December in Port-au-Prince, a week prior to the 4th scheduled date for presidential and legislative elections. Elections eventually happened in February after being postponed 5 times. In mid-January, the Brazilian commander of the UN mission in Haiti committed suicide. All of the soldiers in these photographs are Brazilian.
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