Violence in Haiti —from police and “peacekeepers”

Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, at a meeting on earthquake recovery aid in Ottawa, played down reports of growing violence in ravaged Port-au-Prince. “There is a lot of talk about violence, it’s not true in Haiti,” he said, insisting that the city is calm. “I am extremely impressed as prime minister by the resilience of people.” (Bloomberg, Jan. 24) The following day, 15-year-old Fabienne Cherisma was shot dead when police opened fire on looters in Port-au-Prince. (The Guardian, Jan. 26) The day after that, Uruguayan UN peacekeepers fired rubber bullets while attempting to contain a thousands-strong mass of desperately hungry Haitians who had mobbed a food distribution point. Asked by a reporter why the peacekeepers weren’t giving instructions to the crowd in French or Creole, one shot back in Spanish, “Whatever we do, it doesn’t matter—they are animals.” (Herald Sun, Australia, Jan. 26)

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