Deadly protests leave officers injured in Haiti

Report on corruption sparks calls for president's resignation

By Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

PORT-AU-PRINCE - About a dozen police officers were injured during massive protests that turned into riots and shootings early Friday in some areas of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. 

The protesters were demanding the ouster of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse on Thursday, the two-year anniversary of his presidential inauguration ceremony. Haiti National Police deputy spokesman Gary Desrosiers told The Miami Herald at least two people were dead. 

Protesters were responding to Haiti's Supreme Court's recent report accusing officials of possible misappropriation of funds and mentioning a company with a government contract that was linked to Moïse. 

Protesters, who burned vehicles and buildings, were also complaining about the cost of living and vowed to continue the demonstrations through the weekend. The World Bank estimates Haiti's inflation rate in 2017 was at 14.67 percent. 

Last year, Haiti's Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant, who took office February 2017, resigned after a proposed plan to raise fuel prices prompted violent protests. The plan aimed to increase the price of gasoline by 38 percent, diesel by 47 percent and kerosene by 51 percent. 

In 2017, a report by the Haitian Senate alleged Haitian officials were involved from 2008 to 2016 in the misappropriation of funds from Petrocaribe, Venezuela's oil-purchasing program. On Thursday, there were protesters with signs that were still asking, "Where is the Petrocaribe money?"

 

 

Copyright 2019 by WPLG Local10.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.