PORT-AU-PRINCE - Thousands of protesters denouncing corruption blocked roads and paralyzed much of the Haitian capital on Sunday as they demand the removal of President Jovenel Moise. At least one person was reported killed.
Demonstrators burned tires and threw stones during the march in Port-au-Prince, where the scent of burning rubber filled the air. Many stores and gas stations were closed and travel between some cities was impeded as protesters blocked roadways with cars, stones and other large objects.
Police erected barricades near the presidential palace and fired tear gas when protesters attempted to breach them.
Journalists saw at least one person who had died following the crack of gunfire nearby. He was put on a motorcycle and carried to the Sam Ambulance service, where director-general Ralph Senecal said the man was shot in the chest and died by the time he reached the service. It was not immediately clear who fired the shot that killed him.
The protesters were demanding further investigation into the fate of funds that resulted from subsidized oil shipments from Venezuela under the Petrocaribe program. A Senate investigation recently determined at least 14 former government officials allegedly misused $3.8 billion under the administration of former President Michel Martelly.
Venezuela’s collapsing economy has forced the South American nation to halt or drastically curtail Petrocaribe shipments, leading to problems for power generation. Many Haitians now receive electricity for only a few hours a day.
Protesters came from a wide cross section of society, including political parties, religious groups and community activists.