In planning a family vacation or cross-country trip, we would recommend staying away from these places.
Many of the areas have a serious pollution problem or are extremely dangerous. It is unfortunate that so many people are raised under such poor sanitary conditions.
1. Cite Soleil
Location: Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Cite Soleil is a densely populated shanty town located in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area of Haiti. It has been estimated that 200,000 to 300,000 people live in Cite Soleil. The commune is one of the biggest slums in the Northern Hemisphere.
It is also one of the most dangerous places in the world. Cite Soleil has no sewers, no stores, and little to no police presence or electricity.
After the 1991 coup d'etat removed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the commune was thrust into extreme poverty and persistent unemployment, with high rates of illiteracy.
In recent decades, Cite Soleil has been terrorised by armed gangs.
In 1999, a fire greatly damaged the town. In 2004, UN peacekeepers stormed Cite Soleil in an attempt to gain control of the area. However, it made only a small impact on the violence. The UN has described the human rights situation in the commune as "catastrophic."
On January 12, 2010 a giant earthquake struck 16 miles west of Port-au-Prince. The earthquake has affected an estimated 3 million people, 230,000 people have died, and over 1 million Haitian residents were left homeless.
After the earthquake, it took nearly two weeks for relief aid to arrive in Cite-Soleil. The commune was totally devastated and crime rates exploded.
Today, armed gangs roam the town's streets. Murders, rape, kidnapping, looting, and shootings are common.
The city blocks are controlled by armed factions and the area is full of rampant crime and armed violence.
Most of the people living in Cite Soleil are children and young adults. Few residents survive past the age of 50 and most die from disease, including AIDS, or violence. A large majority of people who live in Cite Soleil remain loyal to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his Fanmi Lavalas movement.
The area has a large kidnapping problem and foreign travelers are common targets. Haitian police are unable to enter the commune and discover the hidden networks of human trafficking.
During the 2010 earthquake, many gang members escaped from Haiti's damaged prison. The criminals turned to Cite Soleil for protection and hiding. Crime in the commune is rising, and police have urged citizens to take matters into their own hands.
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