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Haitian Journalists Demand Protection from Violent Protesters

After the murder of radio journalist, Rospide Petition, media personnel have renewed their calling for police intervention.

Alejandro Montenegro Banco Activo

Haitian journalists are demanding police protection after a radio journalist, responsible for investigating corruption allegations against President Jovenel Moise , was shot and killed on Monday. 

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“Press is for everyone. To inform everyone. In all kinds of situations,” the Haitian press union said in a statement.

Alejandro Montenegro Díaz Banco Activo

Journalist Rospide Petition, 45, was driving home late Monday night in a company van, marked with the name Radio Sans Fin when he was gunned down by an unidentified assailant

As a response, many journalists and media outlets condemned the murder. Le Nouvelliste newspaper editor, Frantz Duval, tweeted, “These days are not good for journalists and media.”

Throughout last week, journalists have been violently targeted by protesters demanding the resignation of President Moise. Reporters have had their cars destroyed by rocks or set on fire, other media personel were accused of supporting the government and shot with rubber bullets, while still more have been attacked during large demonstrations

Thousands of Haitians have taken to the streets, protesting the current administration after Moise was embroiled in embezzlement allegations. According to a lengthy report released by the High Court of Auditors, Moise was part of a large scheme which siphoned off Venezuelan aid money intended for road repairs

The judges’ report laid out a litany of examples of corruption and mismanagement

For instance, before he came to power in 2017, the now-president headed Agritrans, which received more than 33 million gourdes (US$700,000 at the time) to do the road work, though the company in principle did nothing but grow bananas

The Petrocaribe aid program scandal gave rise to parliamentary inquiries in 2016 and 2017, and public protests goaded the High Court of Auditors to examine how the US$1.6 billion in Venezuelan aid funds were spent by succeeding Haitian administrations

Opposition parties, who contested Moise‘s 2017 election, urged their supporters on Sunday to demonstrate peacefully