Unrest in St. Marc

Tony Savino (Haiti Liberte)
police in St. Marc grabbed and severely beat a popular teacher from a street
band slowly winding along Route Nationale #1 on Sunday night, Jan. 20. The
police did not like that the rara procession, a traditional practice in the
days before Carnaval, was blocking traffic and reportedly grabbed the teacher
at random and beat him up. As one local business owner commented, “the cops
messed with the wrong person this time, because the teacher is a mild-mannered
gentleman who is well-known and respected in the community.”

            Word quickly spread about the
beating, and, to protest, local youth blocked Route Nationale #1, the main link
between Port-au-Prince and Haiti’s northern cities. Trucks were commandeered
and used to block the road. Protesters repelled local police attempting to
clear the road Sunday night. On Monday morning, UDMO police along with MINUSTAH
occupation troops arrived and fired tear gas at protesters  Youths responded by
throwing rocks and bottles. At least one protester was arrested, and several
were beaten by police.
On Jan. 21, the Haitian police’s UDMO unit
and MINUSTAH troops clear trucks used by St. Marc demonstrators to block Route
Nationale #1.
Photo by Tony Savino