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.
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.
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!”
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.
“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.
Haiti, which is still recovering from the devastating 2010 earthquake, is now considered the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.