News   /   More

Haiti police, protesters clash over high fuel costs

Haitian Police patrol the streets in Port-au-Prince, amid protests and strike over high fuel prices.

Haitian police have opened fire on protesters angry about the high cost of fuel, amid a transport strike demanding gas prices be cut in the impoverished Caribbean island nation.

The Monday clashes took place during a demonstration in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

Several people were reportedly injured in the unrest. However, police spokesman Gary Desrosiers could not confirm the actual number of casualties.

Desrosiers added that several people were arrested and police were clearing road barricades set up by the protesters.

Haitian youths blocked the capital city’s roads with burning tires, large rocks and tree trunks to prevent vehicles from passing. The halt in traffic disrupted normal operations of schools and businesses.

The latest protest occurred on the first day of a 48-hour transport strike demanding the government lower the price of gas.

President Michel Martelly has recently cut gas and diesel prices, but protesters and unions are calling for prices to be dropped by half.

Officials reduced slightly the price of gas by some USD 0.25 per gallon (3.8 liters) to USD 4.50, with a further planned cut of USD 0.50 that would put the price at USD four. In addition, the price of diesel was dropped by USD 0.20 to 3.55 and will be reduced to USD 3.30 a gallon.

The government released a statement saying the protests would only hurt the country’s economy and create "devastating consequences for the most vulnerable people in our population."

The impoverished Caribbean nation is struggling with a political crisis, which erupted last December when the previous prime minister, Laurent Lamothe, was forced to step down and parliament was dissolved after failing to hold municipal and legislative elections.

This is while President Martelly has been facing growing calls to resign over the past months, with student protesters joining demonstrations last week, of which one on February 5 ended violently when police fired rubber bullets, injuring at least six of them.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku