Latin America expert Dan Erikson said “The sad truth is that no one is in charge of Haiti today. This vacuum, coupled with the robust response from the Obama administration, has inevitably created a situation where the U.S. will be the de facto decision-maker in Haiti.”
The 9,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force, which might have been able to step into the void, has been left counting its own dead after its headquarters were destroyed in the quake.
The United Nations said 36 of its personnel in Haiti had been killed and many more were still missing.
Peacekeepers occasionally patrolled the city in buses and trucks and have mobilized some heavy earth-moving equipment but the blue-helmet soldiers have largely stayed off the streets.
Pickup trucks stacked high with bodies could be seen making their way through traffic-clogged streets on Thursday morning, on their way to drop off the dead at the morgue attached to Hospital General, the city’s main health facility.
But Guy LaRoche, the hospital’s director, said it was already filled to overflowing with more than 1,500 rapidly decomposing bodies. Many had been left lying out in the sun. LaRoche said he had had no contact with any government officials to see what to do with them.