On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, rendering the national legal system and government largely non-operational. The earthquake was estimated to have resulted in the death of 230,000 people, in the injury of 300,000 people and in the homelessness of over one million people. Among the destruction was that of Haiti's main prison, resulting in the escape of the prison's 4,000 inmates. Following the earthquake, local police struggled to maintain law and order while awaiting the deployment of 5,700 US troops. The troops were sent to assist the 3,000 police and international peacekeepers deployed to secure the airport, port and main buildings and quell incidents of looting and violence that had been on the rise.
Learn more about the legal repercussions of the earthquake in Haiti from the JURIST news archive, and learn more about the affects of the earthquake on human rights in Haiti from Special Guest Columnist Amanda M. Klasing of Human Rights Watch on JURIST Forum.