Port-au-Prince | Haitian police violently dispersed an opposition demonstration marching through the streets of Port-au-Prince on Wednesday to demand the president’s departure from power and denounce the climate of insecurity.
From inside a car traveling at high speed, agents of the Haitian National Police (PNH) shot at ground level in the direction of the demonstrators who were progressing peacefully on one of the major axes of the Haitian capital, noted a AFP journalist.
The procession of several hundred people was then dispersed by tear gas canisters launched by the police.
“We are in a dictatorship: imagine a population demonstrating with their hands in the air to say that they refuse the situation and now the police have come to shoot at them,” denounces Félicien Joubert, a protester.
“We ask Joe Biden to help us, because Trump, he supported Jovenel (Moïse, Haitian president, editor’s note). It is time for people to know what is happening here because we the Haitian people cannot live like this, in misery, insecurity and kidnappings, ”added this opposition activist.
A few kilometers away, a man was shot and killed on the Place du Champ-de-Mars, where the presidential palace and the departmental directorate of the national police are located. The origin of the fatal shooting could not be clearly determined, but the event amplified the anger of the demonstrators present at the power in place.
Before the muscular intervention of the police, the inhabitants who had answered the call for mobilization launched by the political opposition, unanimously denounced the insecurity which plagues the country.
“We cannot agree to each on our side to collect the money for a potential ransom. No one is safe in the country. Why can’t the state guarantee the safety of all Haitians? Asks Wilber Saint Fort, another protester.
As Haiti records an upsurge in crime and kidnappings for ransom, a new director of the Haitian national police was appointed by the executive on Monday.
Human rights organizations denounce the impunity enjoyed by the leaders of armed gangs, casting doubt on the potential proximity between these criminals and political leaders in power and the opposition.