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Haiti gang makes demands in test of power with government

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A standoff between a powerful gang federation and Haiti’s government is testing how much power both sides wield and threatens to further derail a paralyzed country where millions of people are struggling to find fuel and water.

A former police officer who leads a gang alliance known as “G9 and Family” has proposed his own plan for Haiti’s future — even seeking seats in the Cabinet — while demanding that the administration of Prime Minister Ariel Henry grant amnesty and void arrest warrants against the group’s members, a demand that so far has gone unanswered.

In mid-September, the gang surrounded a key fuel terminal to demand Henry’s resignation and to protest a spike in petroleum prices after the prime minister announced that his administration could no longer afford to subsidize fuel.

That move, coupled with thousands of protesters who have blocked streets in the capital of Port-au-Prince and other major cities, has caused major shortages, forcing hospitals to cut back on services, gas stations to close and banks and grocery stores to restrict hours.

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