PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Atty. Reynold Georges showed up with a judge and a police officer on a recent afternoon at Camp Acra, a cluster of tents and plywood shelters scattered across rocky hills dotted with trees in the heart of the Haitian capital.
The lawyer told the camp of some 30,000 people that they were squatting on his land and had to leave, witnesses said. If they didn't vacate, he said he'd have the place burned down and leveled by bulldozers.
Camp leader Elie Joseph Jean-Louis said other angry residents, who had lost their homes in a catastrophic 2010 earthquake, fought back by lobbing rocks at Georges and the people he had come with.
The camp residents managed to protect their homes that day but they also brought to life a far-reaching problem.
In the few weeks since the mid-April confrontation, their plight has become a symbol for what many say is the growing use of threats and sometimes outright violence to clear out sprawling displaced person camps, where some 320,000 Haitians still live.