Utne Blogs > Media

Did Political Prisoners Escape from Haiti's Prison?

You've no doubt heard about the prisoners who escaped Port-au-Prince's main prison just after the earthquake. The Lens blog over at the New York Times site features a slideshow of photos by Damon Winter, who visited the vacant prison. 

“Who were they?,” ask the Lens bloggers...

Were they among the machete-wielding pillagers who made their way along the Boulevard Jean-Jacques Dessalines on Saturday afternoon? (The account in The Times, “Looting Flares Where Authority Breaks Down,” said no one could answer with certainty.) Did their numbers include political prisoners? In “Disaster Imperialism in Haiti” on MRZine, a Socialist Web site, Shirley Pate wrote: “Who knows how many of the dead or escaped prisoners there were those who were incarcerated without cause over the course of the two years that followed Aristide’s departure?”

Damon Winter’s photographs answer none of these questions. They don’t mean to. But they do begin to paint a picture of life inside a Haitian prison; a picture that few people have ever seen before.

(Thanks, Prison Photography.)

Source: Lens