PORT-AU-PRINCE – The opposition Democratic and Popular Sector of Haiti led on Monday the burial of four people who died in mid-February in Port-au-Prince during violent protests calling for the resignation of President Jovenel Moise.
Some 300 people were in a procession with their bodies in coffins towards the cemetery when they attempted to carry out protests that were repressed with tear gas by the Haitian National Police, according to EFE.
Candidates of the Popular and Democratic Sector blame the government for the deaths and called for new demonstrations in the country on March 7.
Last week, Moise created a commission for dialogue, but two of the seven members of that commission have already resigned and the Democratic Sector rejects any kind of dialogue with the Government.
On March 1, the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, David Hale, met with Moise to discuss the current situation in the country and the process of dialogue initiated by the government.
Hale also held meetings that day with Haitian Prime Minister Jean Henry Ceant, who stressed that the discussions focused, in particular, on the need to strengthen the process of institutionalizing democracy in Haiti through dialogue.
Haiti is going through a deep economic and political crisis, aggravated by the massive and violent protests that began on Feb. 7, the same day that Moise had served two years in office, and lasted for two weeks.
During these protests, called by the Democratic and Popular Sector, one of the most radical opposition factions, at least 26 people died, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), although the police have not provided any data on the number of victims.
The demonstrations, which have increased insecurity in Haiti, the poorest country in America, and have caused an atmosphere of uncertainty, occurred in the midst of a severe economic crisis, which was aggravated this year by a sharp depreciation of the gourde, the official currency, and galloping inflation.
In their protests, demonstrators demand justice for alleged irregularities in the Petrocaribe program, through which Venezuela supplies oil to Haiti at soft prices.
An audit presented at the beginning of February by the High Court of Accounts revealed irregularities between 2008-2016 in this program and pointed out 15 ex-ministers and current officials who are involved in this case, as well as a company that Moise directed before assuming the presidency.