Accused of killing journalist, Haiti police open probe

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 have photojournalist Maxiben Lazarre onto a truck right after he was shot dead whilst covering a protest by factory personnel demanding greater salaries in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. Adult males donning law enforcement uniforms drove by the protest and fired into the crowd where Lazarre was covering the demonstration.


The Haiti Countrywide Police pressure has started an internal investigation into allegations that officers shot and killed a neighborhood photojournalist and very seriously wounded two many others who have been masking a garment employees protest in the money around increased wages on Wednesday.

Police spokesman Garry Desrosiers claimed the internal investigation into the capturing that led to the demise of Maxiben Lazarre, who also went by Maxihen, will be done by the two the inspector general’s workplace, which investigates accusations versus police officers, and the Central Directorate of the Judicial Law enforcement.

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

Lazarre, who labored for the on line media outlet Rois des infos, or Kings of Facts, was killed when men carrying law enforcement uniforms drove by the protest and fired into the group of protesters. They had been traveling in a white, unmarked car with a “government service” license plate, claimed Robest Dimanche, spokesman for an on the internet journalists association, CMEL, who was at the protest. Two other journalists have been also wounded as very well as a factory employee, he explained.

“Everything unfolded before my eyes,” reported Dimanche, who famous that appropriate just 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 spouse and children and Dimanche, talking on behalf of the affiliation, condemned the killing and demanded justice.

A Haitian photojournalist lies dead on the floor just after he was shot although masking a protest by factory workers demanding larger salaries in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. The journalist, to begin with identified as Maxihen Lazarre but whose to start with name is Maxiben, was masking the demonstration when males carrying police uniforms drove by the protest and fired into the crowd 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 had been fatally shot by suspected gang members while they have been reporting a story on the country’s gang troubles. The killing was straight away condemned by the global watchdog team Committee to Safeguard Journalists.

Haiti has been seeing an maximize in the slaying of journalists, none of which have been solved. In 2018, photojournalist Vladjimir Legagneur went lacking whilst operating on an impartial task inside of the Port-au-Prince slum of Grand Ravine. The pursuing year radio journalists Pétion Rospide and Néhémie Joseph had been killed. Very last June, Diego Charles, of Radio Vision 2000, was gunned down along with human rights advocate Antoinette “Netty” Duclaire.

“Every time a journalist is killed, the law enforcement says the similar thing, ‘An investigation has been opened,’ “ Dimanche said. “Since Jean Dominique there has been an investigation opened and considering the fact that then, there has never ever been any progress with the investigation. We have no selection but to set tension … and check with all journalists’ associations, area and global, to get a stance to finish the impunity.”

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

Factory workers run from tear gas fired by law enforcement trying to disperse their protest for wage improves in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. It is the very first day of a 3-day strike arranged by manufacturing facility staff who also shut down an industrial park earlier this thirty day period to protest pay out. Odelyn Joseph AP

In a concept on his Twitter account, Haitian Primary Minister Ariel Henry claimed he deplored Lazarre’s demise and condemned the violence. “I provide my sympathies to the relatives of the deceased, as effectively as to the other victims of these brutal acts,” he wrote.

The incident was also condemned by the monitoring office of the Montana Accord, a group that seeks to take demand of the country and lead a two-year transition to elections. A tweet from the team referred to Lazarre’s dying as “murder” and condemned “all acts of repression in opposition to employees.”

“The de facto electrical power can’t carry on to let the police to shoot at Haitians like all of us who are boasting for a better life,” the tweet explained.

The protests for greater wages by garment employees have been ongoing for quite a few weeks. On Monday, the governing administration introduced a hike in the everyday bare minimum wage by as a lot as 54%.

The hike would just take the minimal salary for factory employees from $5 a day to just beneath $7.50 a day. The most important union representing manufacturing unit workers has reported the maximize is not plenty of and has named for ongoing demonstrations. The unions are demanding a bare minimum of $15 a working day.

On Thursday, factories through Port-au-Prince shut down in protest of the violence that has accompanied the strike. Some factory proprietors say properties have been attacked with rocks, and that staff who have refused to sign up for the protests have been dragged from their doing the job stations.

This story was initially revealed February 24, 2022 2:56 PM.

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Jacqueline Charles has claimed on Haiti and the English-talking Caribbean for the Miami Herald for in excess of 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.