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Accused of killing journalist, Haiti police open probe

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Journalists carry photojournalist Maxiben Lazarre onto a truck after he was shot dead while covering a protest by factory workers demanding higher salaries in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. Men wearing police uniforms drove by the protest and fired into the crowd where Lazarre was covering the demonstration.

Journalists carry photojournalist Maxiben Lazarre onto a truck after he was shot dead whilst covering a protest by manufacturing facility workers demanding larger salaries in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. Men sporting law enforcement uniforms drove by the protest and fired into the crowd where by Lazarre was covering the demonstration.


The Haiti National Law enforcement force has started an interior investigation into allegations that officers shot and killed a neighborhood photojournalist and seriously wounded two some others who were being covering a garment personnel protest in the capital over larger wages on Wednesday.

Police spokesman Garry Desrosiers explained the inside investigation into the taking pictures that led to the death of Maxiben Lazarre, who also went by Maxihen, will be done by both of those the inspector general’s office, which investigates accusations against police officers, and the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police.

Witnesses are accusing Haitian law enforcement of firing the deadly shot that led to Lazarre’s dying.

Lazarre, who worked for the on the web media outlet Rois des infos, or Kings of Facts, was killed when guys sporting law enforcement uniforms drove by the protest and fired into the crowd of protesters. They ended up traveling in a white, unmarked auto with a “government service” license plate, claimed Robest Dimanche, spokesman for an on the web journalists association, CMEL, who was at the protest. Two other journalists were also wounded as nicely as a factory employee, he claimed.

“Everything unfolded in advance of my eyes,” said Dimanche, who mentioned that correct before the taking pictures law enforcement experienced damaged up the protest by firing tear gas. “Of the a few journalists who were being shot, a person died on the scene, Lazarre.”

On Friday, Lazarre’s loved ones and Dimanche, speaking on behalf of the association, condemned the killing and demanded justice.

A Haitian photojournalist lies lifeless on the floor right after he was shot when covering a protest by factory staff demanding greater salaries in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. The journalist, in the beginning identified as Maxihen Lazarre but whose to start with name is Maxiben, was covering the demonstration when gentlemen sporting police uniforms drove by the protest and fired into the group of protesters. Odelyn Joseph AP

Lazarre is the third journalist killed in Haiti in two months. In January, John Wesley Amady and Wilguens Louis-Saint have been fatally shot by suspected gang associates though they were reporting a story on the country’s gang problems. The killing was immediately condemned by the international watchdog group Committee to Protect Journalists.

Haiti has been looking at an enhance in the slaying of journalists, none of which have been solved. In 2018, photojournalist Vladjimir Legagneur went lacking while operating on an unbiased undertaking within the Port-au-Prince slum of Grand Ravine. The pursuing 12 months radio journalists Pétion Rospide and Néhémie Joseph had been killed. Past June, Diego Charles, of Radio Eyesight 2000, was gunned down together with human legal rights advocate Antoinette “Netty” Duclaire.

“Every time a journalist is killed, the police states the same matter, ‘An investigation has been opened,’ “ Dimanche mentioned. “Since Jean Dominique there has been an investigation opened and considering the fact that then, there has never been any development with the investigation. We have no option but to put force … and request all journalists’ associations, local and global, to acquire a stance to end the impunity.”

Jean Dominique was a Haitian journalist, agronomist and human rights advocate in Haiti. His April 3, 2000, assassination stays unsolved, and has served as a symbol of the country’s ongoing challenge bringing the killers of journalists to justice.

Factory personnel operate from tear fuel fired by law enforcement striving to disperse their protest for salary boosts in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. It is the first day of a 3-day strike arranged by manufacturing facility employees who also shut down an industrial park previously this month to protest spend. Odelyn Joseph AP

In a concept on his Twitter account, Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry mentioned he deplored Lazarre’s loss of life and condemned the violence. “I give my sympathies to the loved ones of the deceased, as nicely as to the other victims of these brutal functions,” he wrote.

The incident was also condemned by the checking office of the Montana Accord, a group that seeks to get demand of the region and guide a two-12 months changeover to elections. A tweet from the group referred to Lazarre’s loss of life as “murder” and condemned “all functions of repression against personnel.”

“The de facto electricity can’t go on to make it possible for the law enforcement to shoot at Haitians like all of us who are boasting for a far better everyday living,” the tweet mentioned.

The protests for larger wages by garment staff have been ongoing for many months. On Monday, the governing administration declared a hike in the every day bare minimum wage by as a great deal as 54%.

The hike would just take the bare minimum wage for manufacturing facility personnel from $5 a working day to just below $7.50 a working day. The major union symbolizing manufacturing unit employees has claimed the boost is not more than enough and has identified as for ongoing demonstrations. The unions are demanding a least of $15 a working day.

On Thursday, factories during Port-au-Prince shut down in protest of the violence that has accompanied the strike. Some manufacturing facility homeowners say buildings have been attacked with rocks, and that personnel who have refused to be a part of the protests have been dragged from their doing the job stations.

This tale was originally revealed February 24, 2022 2:56 PM.

Profile Image of Jacqueline Charles

Jacqueline Charles has documented on Haiti and the English-talking Caribbean for the Miami Herald for about a ten years. A Pulitzer Prize finalist for her coverage of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, she was awarded a 2018 Maria Moors Cabot Prize — the most prestigious award for protection of the Americas.

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