The Haitian social fabric is fraying

You may recall that the immediate aftermath of the earthquake brought relatively high levels of order and even a decline in crime.  Yet norms are evolving to meet the new and desperate environment which most Haitians face.

The Haitians are now figuring out how to rob and murder visiting Americans; the body count is suddenly at four.  The level of rape is escalating.

The Haitian Presidential election is now set for November 28, and that is likely to bring a good amount of violence.  And since so many voting records have been destroyed, it will be difficult to limit fraud, accusations of fraud, and the winner may not be seen as legitimate.

One simple hypothesis is that people behave fairly calmly, and even passively, during shocking experiences and in their immediate aftermath.  The medium-term response can be quite different.

Most people are ignoring the Haitian situation, as they have mistakenly concluded it has stabilized.  It has not.  You still have a milion and a half people, in a basically untenable situation, more or less homeless, with the heart of the country destroyed and not much ongoing reconstruction or reform.


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