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Thousands protest against corruption in Haiti

February 8, 2019

Protesters are demanding President Jovenel Moise resign for failing to tackle corruption. Months of protests have engulfed the Western Hemisphere's poorest country.

 Demonstrators in Port-au-Prince take part in a protest against former government officials accused of misusing Petrocaribe funds and the country's inflation rate
Image: Reuters/J. Augustini

Thousands of Haitians took to the streets on Thursday against economic misery in the latest challenge to President Jovenel Moise amid months of protests over corruption. 

Demonstrators want Moise to resign for failing to investigate alleged corruption in the previous administration over Petrocaribe, a Venezuelan-subsidized energy program.

The Superior Court of Auditors last week released a report linking former ministers and senior officials to economic mismanagement and the possible misappropriation of funds loaned to the country from Venezuela since 2008.

The report also named a company that was formerly headed by Moise as a recipient of funds from a road construction project that never had a signed contract.

A street and a square are filled with demonstrators holding up placards, flags and banners
Thousands of people protested in the capital, Port-au-PrinceImage: Reuters/J. Augustini

Some of the demonstrations turned violent as protesters clashed with police, who shot tear gas and live ammunition into the air. In the capital, Port-au-Prince, several cars were torched, including four police vehicles.

At least one person died and 14 police officers were injured, National Police spokesman Gary Desrosiers said.

Opposition leader Moise Jean Charles called for protests to continue over the next days until the president resigns.

"We will not stop, we will continue on the 8th and 9th of February to finish with President Jovenel Moise," the opposition leader said. "If Jovenel Moise does not want to step down from power, we are going to name an interim president in the coming days."

cw/aw(AFP, AP, dpa)

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