PORT-A-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) – Haitian police released rubber bullets and tear gas on Saturday to disperse anti-government protesters who blocked roads and started fires in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Several people were injured.
It was the latest unrest in more than a year of protests demanding the resignation of President Yovenel Moise over allegations of corruption. Haiti is currently experiencing a political stalemate without a parliament, and it is now governed by a decree led by Moses.
The president marked Saturday with a call for unity and a wreath to mark the 214th anniversary of the death of Haiti’s first independent ruler, Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
Many Haitians have criticized the government’s response to the pandemic, saying authorities have not done enough to treat the victims or offered economic support to those who lost their jobs as a result of a national blockade to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the impoverished country.
This year, police protested on their own, demanding better pay and working conditions. In February, police exchanged gunfire with Haitian soldiers near the National Palace, where police protested against working conditions.
Earlier this year, a scathing United Nations report accused Haitian police of corruption and poor protection.