PORT-AU-PRINCE – Thousands of Haitians demonstrated on Sunday in the streets of Port-au-Prince against the increase in kidnappings, general violence and the rule of President Jovenel Moïse.
The protesters responded to the call by health personnel after the murder of a doctor and a nurse in recent days.
Along with medical workers, political activists, members of civil society and the general population demonstrated.
The march began in front of the State University of Haiti Hospital, the only public hospital in the capital, and stopped at the spot where Dr. Ernst Pady was assassinated, to send a message to the authorities.
“Life is hope. We fight, we promise that hope will not disappear. This is the best way to honor his memory. It is our commitment and solidarity,” said a doctor reading a document.
“We want to confront this machine that brings death. Long live life, down with insecurity, down with kidnappings,” continued the doctor, affirming that Moïse’s mandate ended on Feb. 7, the position taken by his opponents.
During the protest, rara bands (traditional music implementing voodoo and often used in political protests) accompanied the demonstrators, who launched hostile slogans against the current administration and carried banners denouncing the “heinous crimes” committed in the country.
After resisting a kidnapping, pediatrician Ernst Pady was shot dead on Feb. 28 when he went to his clinic to get supplies to treat a patient.
He was considered a father figure not only to his patients, but also in his neighborhood, where he cared for sick children free of charge.
A few days later, on March 2, nurse Edeline Mentor, who was returning from a bank, was killed by men on motorcycles on the Route de Freres, a few kilometers from the United States embassy.
The measures announced by the authorities have not stopped the insecurity, and kidnappings continue.
For some time, not a day has gone by without cases of kidnappings all over Haiti, but especially in Port-au-Prince, where the streets are deserted at dusk.