Conflicts & War

Silence, shock on Haiti’s streets following president’s assassination

By María Montecelos

Port-au-Prince, Jul 14 (EFE).- Haitians, who have a long history of protest, have not taken to the streets following the assassination of their president a week ago, nor have there been any public expressions of mourning.

The brutal killing of Jovenel Moise at his home, which came after three turbulent years in the Caribbean nation marked by protests, violence, kidnappings, economic ruin and Covid-19, has stunned the population.

Political analyst Georges Michel tells Efe that “people are still surprised, still in shock.”

“The assassination of the president created a trauma. The population was shocked by the news” and, although “they were asking for his resignation, they did not want him dead,” he said.

The general unease and fear is palpable on the country’s streets, which were deserted in the first two days in the wake of the murder, although they have slowly started returning to normal.

Many citizens are saddened and a sense of empathy for the man is emerging, even if Moise did not arouse much affection among the population after three years of perpetual crises.

As a multifaceted crisis in Haiti escalated unabated, Moise was steadily losing the huge majority of supporters who put him in office after a first round victory in the 2016 elections.

But in recent months, amid a worsening security situation due to uncontrolled gang warfare and the crippling effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the opposition, trade unions, the business sector, churches and numerous professional and civil society groups had called for his resignation.

Since the summer of 2018, protests against Moise had disrupted all economic activity in Port-au-Prince for weeks at a time.

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