Riots Break Out In Haiti Following Mysterious Murder of Journalist Amid Anti-Government Protests

Thousands of protesters clashed with police Friday in Haiti as they looted stores the resignation of the country’s president.
Thousands of protesters clashed with police Friday in Haiti as they looted stores the resignation of the country’s president.
Photo: Rebecca Blackwell (AP)

All hell is breaking loose in Haiti. Again.

Following the mysterious killing of a popular journalist, the “Pearl of the Antilles” has erupted into total chaos at the start of the weekend.

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According to reports, a full-scale riot has broken out in the Caribbean nation’s capital city of Port -au-Prince on Friday after months of civil unrest dating back over a year.

Thousands of anti-government protestors have burned tires and poured oil into the streets in a continued call for the resignation of the troubled country’s president Jovenel Moïse, AP reports.

On Thursday, a journalist covering the demonstrations, Néhémie Joseph of Radio Méga, was fatally shot and his body was found in his car northeast of Port-au-Prince, according to Radio Vision 2000.

Last month, Joseph wrote on Facebook that a couple of politicians had threatened him after one of his shows and accused him of inciting protests.

According to the news agency, Joseph is the third Haitian journalist killed in less than two years. Radio Sans Fin reporter Pétion Rospide was fatally shot earlier this year as he drove home, while freelance journalist Vladjimir Legagneur mysteriously disappeared in March 2018 while working on a story.

“The press should not have to claim victims and bodies as their own,” the Association of Professional Journalists of Artibonite said, calling on justice officials to investigate the killing.

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Stores are being looted and residents are clashing with the police as they try to break through the barricades leading to Moise’s upscale residence.

While a group of motorcyclists revved their engines in front of a police barricade, one person held up a dead dog that had been dragged through the streets by a rope as some yelled: “Here’s Jovenel!”

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Police fired tear gas and bullets into the air at the angry crowds.

The riotous demonstrations stem from anger over government corruption, rising inflation and a lack of basic goods such as food, medical care and electricity.

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“We’re going to break and destroy everything if Moïse doesn’t resign,” Reynald Brutus, who was described as a 28-year-old unemployed protester, told the AP.

Jovenel Moïse during is February 2017 inauguration in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Jovenel Moïse during is February 2017 inauguration in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery (AP)
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Haiti, which is still recovering from the devastating 2010 earthquake, is now considered the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.

 

Hailing from "the thorough borough" of Brooklyn, Mr. Daniels has written for The New York Times, Associated Press, CNN, Essence, VIBE, NBC News, The Daily Beast, The New York Daily News and Word Up!

DISCUSSION

daveassist
DVDDVDDVD - search ACLU Mobile Justice App

This comment will be another reason to condemn me to the Greys much like Splinter did, but ‘looted stores’ all too often means robbing burning down an local older couple or old lady’s little shop. How does that particular viciousness do anything to the powerful? It doesn’t.

It only gives some fodder to the powerful on how ‘those people’ don’t deserve mercy anyway and further impoverishes other local people that now don’t have a reasonable way to get whatever the local shop was selling.  Taking out frustration on corporate targets is one thing, although it probably results in more local folks being unemployed now, but going after old Johnson’s corner store?