Haiti reels from food protests

Fatality reported as impoverished nation's citizens vent fury over doubling of prices.

    UN peacekeepers have called for calm as protesters  burn tyres and vehicles across Haiti [AFP]

    Four people died and about 15 people were injured in similar protests last Thursday in Les Cayes.


    The protests began last Wednesday.

    Rising food prices
    Prices of staples foods such as rice, beans, fruit and condensed milk have gone up 50 per cent in the past year in Haiti.
    A UN spokeswoman appealed for calm as peacekeepers defended government buildings, calling on protesters to "reject violence".

    "Why don't they eliminate taxes on food products and give the population a break?"

    Resident of Les Cayes

    Witnesses told the Reuters news agency that Monday's death occurred in Les Cayes after protesters attempted to storm a senator's home.
    Gunfire erupted and two men were wounded with one dying later in hospital, city officials said.
    However, other reports said the man was killed during an incident with hotel security guards in the city.
    "The government is solely responsible for what is happening today because it has failed to properly address the problems," one resident told Reuters.
    "Why don't they eliminate taxes on food products and give the population a break?"
    'Under control'
    Haitian security forces said they had reinforced their numbers and brought in a new battalion of Brazilian UN peacekeepers.
    "We have the situation under control," Henriot Toussaint, police chief for the southern region, said. 
    In response to the unrest, Jacques Edouard Alexis, Haiti's prime minister, announced a multimillion-dollar investment programme aimed at lowering the cost of living.

    Haiti, with a population of around 8.5 million, is the poorest country in the Americas, with 80 per cent of its population earning less than two
    dollars a day, below the UN-established poverty rate.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?