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Earlier this week, the spokesman of the Haiti National Police responded to criticism that police were minimizing the new kidnapping wave and dismissing reports as rumors.
“The police recognize the phenomenon; it recognizes the dimension it is taking day-by-day, ”police spokesman Michel-Ange Louis-Jeune said in an interview Tuesday with Port-au-Prince-based radio station Magik 9.“ Everyone sees it, everyone has heard about it . ”
Louis-Jeune's acknowledgment of the disturbing phenomenon came in the face of outrage by the population, which said the kidnappings have turned them into virtual prisoners amid numerous reports that people are being abducted while doing routine things.
On Wednesday, frustrations came to a boil as some Haitians launched a new social media campaign, asking their countrymen to Bat Tenèb, or “Beat back the darkness” – meaning to make noise to bring attention to the abductions. A group of university students in Port-au-Prince also staged a protest on the Champs de Mars, the public square in front of the presidential palace, to demand police do more to deal with the epidemic of kidnappings.