Haiti hit with more violence amid third day of protests
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti faced a third day of protests and violence on Tuesday as anger grew over allegations of government corruption.
An Associated Press journalist saw a man who had been fatally shot in the head near the National Palace. It wasn’t clear who shot him.
Schools, businesses and government offices remained closed while scattered protests were reported across the country.
“Haiti is always in crisis, but this crisis is the worst I’ve seen,” said Dieufete Lebon, a 35-year-old moto-taxi driver who was looking for clients in the largely empty streets of Port-au-Prince.
At least eight deaths have been reported in clashes between protesters and police since the protests began on Sunday. Among the dead is a police officer who was shot and burned to death by a gang on Monday.
Three people also were wounded, including a 29-year-old French woman and a Haitian-American tourist, who were hurt when a group of armed men opened fired on an airport shuttle when it refused to stop.
“Where is this leading us to?” asked Lebon, who said that President Jovenel Moise should step down if the situation does not improve. “If tomorrow the country stays paralyzed, the Haitian people are going to lose their patience.”
Among those who were already fed up was 24-year-old Valdo Cene, who works at a propane gas refilling station and was walking toward a friend’s house to borrow some money. He said he had been unable to work for two days and was upset that banks remained closed.
“I have a child who’s sick,” he said. “Our country is unable to function the way it’s functioning. Citizens are suffering.”
Demonstrators have demanded that the president resign for not investigating allegations of corruption in the previous government over a Venezuelan subsidized energy program, Petrocaribe.