Following an official notice of fuel price increases at the pump by the Government of Haiti, violent protests erupted. Major casualties include Deli-Mart, a major supermarket. Several cars parked in front of Hotel Best Western and Royal Oasis were burned to the ground.Barricade erupted in many streets, including the road to the only airport, preventing people from flying out of the country.
On Friday, July 6, 2018, when the civilians were busy with the Russia quarter-final world cup matches, the Government quietly published an official notice of fuel price hike at the pumps. As per government statement, this was done in order to comply with the IMF's "Staff-Monitored Program" (SMP) signed last February. Haitian daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste reports, prices for gasoline were to rise 38% while diesel prices were to go up 47% and kerosene 51%. The revised prices for the petroleum products, effective from July 7, 2018, in Haitian Currency, will be as follows (per gallon): Gasoline: 309 Gourdes; Diesel: 264 Gourdes; and Kerosene: 262 Gourdes. Before the rise, the prices for these products were: gasoline 224 gourdes; diesel 179 Gourds and kerosene 173 Gourdes.
The announcement triggered days of violent civil unrest, demonstrations erupted on Friday in Port-au-Prince. Western Premiere hotel in Petion-Ville was ransacked, banks and stores in Delmas were looted, many flights were either cancelled or rescheduled. Three people were killed on Friday as protesters used burning tires and barricades to block major streets. Demonstrations also broke out in Cap-Haitien, the second-largest city, as well as in the communes of Les Cayes, Jacmel and Petit-Goave. Following the riots, Haiti's Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned on Saturday. As per last news, the Haitian government bowed to pressure and suspended the fuel price hike on Saturday after widespread violence.
IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told during a briefing, generalized fuel subsidy put a significant strain on Haiti's fiscal accounts. Earlier this year, Haiti signed a $96 million low interest agreement with the IMF and reduction of subsidy was one of the terms of that agreement. The country is currently facing double-digit inflation, a depreciating currency and slow growth. It also has a budget deficit of more than $150 million.
Here is a picture of Luckner Lorient, a Haitian Pastor who was arrested in Miami for his role in a deadly fire in New York
Brooklyn pastor, once honored by N.Y. State Senate, arrested for role in deadly 2014 fire
Luckner Lorient (78), a longtime pastor at Eglise Baptist Clarte Celeste in Flatbush once honored by the New York State Senate and commended by the state senate for his ministry, was arrested at Miami International Airport on Tuesday (July 26, 2016) for his role in a 2014 (November 19, 2014) fire that killed one man and injured 14 others. He was arrested on charges of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree reckless endangerment, criminally negligent homicide, third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Lorient owned a building at 1434 Flatbush Avenue, that housed his church on the ground floor and cramped apartments above which was basically a single resident occupancy apartment. Lorient, had illegally subdivided the floors into 11 multiple cramped, dangerous living spaces for 23 people, according to city records, but at that time Lorient argued his ignorance and blamed the tenants. The fire started with an overheated water cooler and the faulty electrical system, erupted into flames on the second floor. Tenants on the third floor were trapped. The fire killed resident Jeff Frederic, 24.
June 10, 2016 - Moise Jean-Charles holds Evans Paul personally responsible for attacks and attempted arson on several gas stations in Port-au-Prince. Moise informed the press that he knows very well what Evans Paul is capable of, consideration his past as former militant "Konpè Plim".
On June 14, 2016, the Haitian Tet Kale Party (PHTK) of former President Martelly and its allies formed a "general mobilization" force with the aim of overthrowing Provisional President Jocelerme Privert from power. The alliance calls themselves Entente Democratic (ED), or Democratic Agreement. Some of the participants of this political coalition include: the KID, the PHTK, the National Consortium of political Parties Haitians, "Repon Peyizan" of "Platfom Viktwa", the National Bloc Right Centre, MONHA. They have invited the general population to take part against the authoritarian and autocratic excesses of the Provisional President Privert and asked the politicians, state institutions and all organized bodies to join a concerted effort for a consensual solution to fill the presidential vacancy.
Evans Paul has said that continuation of Privert as the Interim President without any title or quality is against the law of the country and a matter of criminal offence. The three branches of government, such as, Executive, Legislative and Judiciary, should meet immediately to bring back the country onto the rail of the constitution.
Petionville in the metropolis of Port-au-Prince, in spite of being among the wealthiest parts of the country, is not too well equipped with fire fighting services. Consequently, the intervention of the fire fighting service was inadequate. The trucks were not provided with the necessary equipments and water was insufficient. Private water trucks had to intervene as reinforcements. As per Bianca Stecker, the distraught daughter of the owner of 'Cubano', they had been complaining about the unauthorized market building for past few years, but no authority ever paid any heed to their complaints in violation of safety norms.
Fire in Petion-Ville, Haiti - The fire started in the morning around 8:00 A.M in a market adjacent to the 'Cubano' where stocks of inflammable construction materials were stored and it spread very quickly to the other shops in the market, and to Cubano and another neighboring house. The exact cause of the fire is yet to be known, but it could be related to an electrical short circuit which came in contact with the flammable items stored in the warehouses of the market. Damages caused by the rapid fire are of considerable amount.
Fire in Petion-Ville - A fire in the morning of April 4th completely destroyed one of the oldest hotels in the heart of the city of Port-au-Prince at Petionville named "Cubano" which was renamed as 'The Perroquet' (The Parrot) in 2012. Only the walls of 'Cubano' remain among the charred debris. About 10 people were inside the hotel when the fire started, but all escaped unhurt. This 12-room property was the home of regular concerts and parties for promotion of traditional Haitian culture and it was an integral part of Petion-Ville's night life. The celebrated hotel gutted into fire in less than twenty minutes. Stephane Malebranche, who was in the crowd of onlookers gathered outside the gutted building said, 'Cubano' was a part of the social scene since 1970; it was an important part to end a joyful evening.
Fire in Petion-Ville, Haiti. The new Minister of Justice and Public Security Camille Junior Edouard visited the spot after a few hours of the incident and sympathized with all the victims of the tragedy. The minister had welcomed the efforts of the youth of Petion-ville that helped firefighters to control the blaze. He had reiterated his commitment about strengthening the response capacity of the National Police of Haiti and a well equipped fire fighting force.
Firefighter fighting fire in Haiti by the bucket.
The fire ravaged one of the oldest hotel-restaurants in the upscale hilltop suburb of Petionville overlooking Port-au-Prince. 'Cubano', a 12-room hotel was renamed as 'The Perroquet' (The Parrot) in 2012 where regular concerts and parties for promotion of traditional Haitian culture were organized and which was an integral part of Petion-Ville's night life, was gutted by the fire. The fire at 'Cubano' first broke out in a storeroom and it spread quickly, because the firefighters took over an hour to respond. About 10 people were inside the hotel when the fire started, but all escaped unhurt. Bianca Stecker, the distraught daughter of the proprietor has complained that "It's been years that we are complaining about the uncontrolled building with makeshift structure next to our hotel; it was violating every norms of safety.
Fire in Petion-Ville - On Monday, April 4, 2016, a major fire occurred in Petion-ville. As per the Civil Protection source, around 8:00 A.M in the morning, the fire broke out at the corner of streets Lamarre and Vilatte. The fire destroyed a hotel, a house and several small shops in a small market of construction materials. The fire spreads very quickly because of the inflammable materials (paints and other flammable products) stored in the market. The exact cause of the fire is not yet known, but it could be related to an electrical short circuit which came into the contact of flammable items stored in the warehouses of the market. The local people carried water from the fire fighting truck by bucket in a desperate attempt to bring the fire under control. Petionville is the home of Haitian riches. It is a shame that there was no single fire truck in the commune.
Here is a picture of thr Administrative Complex in Verrettes that burned down.
On January 27, 2016, a group of protesters set fire to the Administrative complex of Verrettes. It is a complex where along with several other government offices, the office of BEC (Communal Electoral Offices), a wing of the BED (Bureau Electoral Départemental) is located. BED is a decentralized body of the CEP (Provisional Electoral Council). BED executes the operational plan of CEP through the actions of BEC under its dependence. Verrettes is a commune in the Saint-Marc Arrondissement, in the Artibonite Department. It is an uneventful, peaceful city which had remained unaffected so far by Haiti's political turmoil. The fire was deliberately set by some unknown assailants on the night of January 27th.