Here is a picture of Delimart Plaza in Delmas 32, Port-au-Prince, Haiti being looted during a protest over fuel price increase on July 7, 2018.
On Friday, July 6, 2018, when the Haitian Commerce Ministry and Economic Ministry issued a joint statement announcing an increase of 38%, 47% and 51% price for gasoline, diesel, and kerosene respectively, it triggered days of violent civil unrest and demonstrations. Major protests erupted in the country with demonstrators using burning tires and barricades to block major streets across the capital and in the northern city of Cap-Haitien. Dozens of shops were looted and burned and cars were set ablaze. At least four people were killed.
Western Premiere hotel in Petion-Ville was ransacked, banks and stores in Delmas were looted, and many flights were either cancelled or rescheduled.
On Saturday, July 17, 2018, looters pillaged burned and vandalized Delimart Plaza. Delimart Plaza is one of the biggest supermarket chains in the capital city, Port-au-Prince. The superstore was founded by Dr. Reginald Boulos in 2000 who is a medical doctor and former chairman of Intercontinental S.A. Since its foundation the shop kept growing to become the biggest supermarket chain in the entire city. It the best place for quality goods at the lowest price, especially the one at Delmas 32, Delimart is comparable to any Publix or Walmart grocery stores in the U.S as far as the range of products and prices are concerned. However, unfortunately, this shop has been completely destroyed by the violent agitators.
The local management is presently engaged in quantifying the damages, both in financial and human terms. As per news dated, July 11, 2018, the Delimart S.A has announced that their properties located in various locations in Haiti such as in Delmas 32, Delmas 30 and Clercine were looted and some burned. The management has decided to keep their shops closed until further notice. The Directorate General of Delimart is aware of the precarious and difficult situations that will arise due to this closure.
This closure of the stores will severely and lastingly affect hundreds of direct and indirect jobs. The local suppliers will bear the brunt of the negative effects. Moreover, the entire national economy will suffer with the rise of the unemployment rate as about 673 people will lose jobs in the stores due to this indefinite closure.
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 Haitian caught by the police during a protest against the election results.
Most Haitians and opposition parties are of opinion that the presidential election of October 25th and its published result are a sure mark of treachery committed by the outgoing President Martelly and his men. Regular protest against this "electoral coup d'état" on the streets has become a regular affair. On one of such similar demonstrations of protest on November 20th, a gang of about 20 hooded men in a white pickup (license plate number 1-00692) armed with machetes, hammers, pipes and guns, attacked the marchers of several opposition parties in the Delmas 95 district. The police present on the spot turned a blind eye. A young man was shot dead and one marcher was wounded in the head by a machete. The Haitian police have arrested a demonstrator with machetes at the end of a march in Port-au-Prince.
PHTK protesters launched slaugans against journalist, radio show host Jean Monard Methelus and threw stones on the building, breaking several windows.
On Saturday, May 14, 216, the supporters of former President Martelly shouted slogans against journalist and radio show host Jean Monard Methelus and threw stones on the Radio Caraibes building, breaking several windows. It appears that PHTK, the Political Party of former President Michel Martelly, no longer believes in non-violent protests. The violent protest was led by Fednel Monchery of Repons Peyizan and Jude Lajoie of Platfom Viktwa-- both are defenders of Martelly's handpicked presidential candidate Jovenel Moses. PHTK has already disapproved the audit commission created by the provisional president Privert to check the credibility of the election. The agitators were demanding to continue the controversial election which is presently under the scanner of the verification commission. However, the demonstrators consider this delay caused by the audit/verification is in violation of the accord signed earlier, as it is nothing but a step to cancel the earlier election held in the Martelly regime.
November, 2002, Himmler Rebu, an ex-Haitian Army colonel, of Haiti's National Progressive Democratic Party, addressing a march of anti-Aristide government demonstrators.
Himmler Rebu is an ex-Haitian Army colonel in the leopard unit who jointly led the Platform of Haitian Patriots in the 2010-11 general elections with Dejean Balisaire and their party own 1 seat. Rebu led a coup attempt in 1989 against a provisional military government, and since then he kept a low profile until he was resurfaced again on November 17, 2002. On that day, he was seen addressing in a march of 15,000 anti-government demonstrators along with Evans Paul demanding Aristide's exit. Rebu told his audience to "Rise up." He said, he cannot maintain his silence because Aristide is ruining the country. He also accused then Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide behind the assassination of Haitian journalists Jean Dominique and Brignol Lindor at an anti-government rally in Cap-Haitien. Rebu claims that he has always been against any disorder irrespective of the nature of the chaos, whether it is in intellectual, political or in tactical field.
Here is a picture where an Ex Haitian soldier became victim during an anti-government demonstrators.
Martelly was due to leave his office within February 7th, but the squabbled politicians of the country failed to complete the recent election process with a runoff and elect a successor for the outgoing President Martelly. Some of the weak opposition leaders are demanding the comeback of former President Aristide as an interim leader as a replacement. We might remember that Aristide disbanded the Haitian army in 1995 in an attempt to end the military dominance over the Haitian politicians, because it had records of toppling governments since the Haitian independence two centuries earlier. Aristide was twice ousted in coups; lastly he was toppled by a US-backed military coup back in 2004. The politicians are also discussing several other options like appointing a Supreme Court judge or a new prime minister to run an interim government. Last year, Martelly energized the former army men by taking steps to revive the armed forces and he has repeatedly pledged that it would be revived to protect the border, coastlines and the country's few remaining forests. However, as per the news report, the ex-military people were rallying in support of both the outgoing President Michel Martelly and his hand-picked candidate Jovenel Moïse for the next presidential race. While driving through the capital in convoys, some of them were waving weapons and firing into the air. The victim was carrying a small card bearing the image of ruling-party candidate Jovenel Moise.
Here is a picture taken in on November 17, 2002 in Cap-Haitian. As you can see in the picture ex-Haitian Army colonel in the leopard unit Himmler Rebu with Haitian activist, political figure and leader of the Democratic Unity Convention party Evans Paul. This took place during a anti government protest. It was organized by the opposition of the Aristide government with the objective to apply more pressure on the government of Jean Bertrand Aristide. Over 15,000 anti-government demonstrators were estimated to take part in this protest.
Have you ever wondered why people in Haiti start their protest march the way they do?
'Damballah' is one of the most important of all the loa, the father of all the rest of the loa and the oldest of the voodoo pantheon existing from the beginning of time. It is the 'great master', creator of life that rules mind, wisdom and cosmic equilibrium and often called the most important god of the voodoo. Voodoo is the predominant religion of Haiti. The spirits are central to the practice of voodoo. This religion is a mixture of religions from Africa and Catholicism. Many Christian beliefs, traditions and figures have been incorporated into voodoo. 'Damballah' is the source of peace and tranquility. In Haiti, Damballah is known to be a very wise and pure lwa (or Loa, the spirits of Haitian Voodoo). Ayida-Weddo, the rainbow, is the wife, perfect mate and regular companion of Damballah. 'Their combined presence has the ability to calm the crowds, relax the senses and bring positive changes. 'Damballah Wedo', is represented by a snake or serpent; when it possesses a human, the person cannot speak but only hisses and whistles.
Damballa is protective, wise, benevolent and loving. Aida-Wedo, the Lwa of rainbows, or the rainbow serpent is the symbol of integration. In Haiti, protest usually begins with Damballah Wedo' symbol. Firstly, someone from the protesting crowd draws the voodoo symbol of "Damballah-Wedo" in the middle of the street, then a campfire is set at the center of the sign and the protesters participate in song while turning around the fire. Damballah with superhuman power possess the ability to tap and manipulate certain occult energies; can bestow power to his mortal followers.
Here is a picture of a CIMO officer shot during Haiti Protest.
Violence Continues Over Final Results. The final tabulation of election results is wreaking havoc in Haiti. The PEC announced Martelly's pick, Jovenel Moise, placed first (33%) and Jude Celestin second (25%). They will compete in December's run-off.
Peaceful protests have turned violent whenever the opposition encounters government supporters. Not only have protestors been injured and killed, the Haitian police have also been targets. The media reports one officer injured by gunfire, and another hurt by hurled rocks.
The PEC urges calm.