On Thursday, violent demonstrations in Cap-Haitien erupted as gunshots rang out and supporters of the slain President Jovenel Moise blocked roads and demanded justice. They also threatened to disrupt Jovenel’s funeral.
Unknown officers were accompanied by a heavily-armed police force as they rushed through a barricade made of flaming tires at the bridge’s end. One vehicle almost flipped over as it went through.
David Daniel stood at the doorway to a restaurant he owns and said, “This is real messed-up since Jovenel’s death.” He said that he didn’t believe the unrest would have the desired effect as demonstrators had hoped. “Violence is a part of Haitian society since I was a child, so violence will not change anything.”
On Thursday, a priest informed mourners at a funeral service that too many people are being killed in Haiti. Authorities warned about more violence before the funeral.
The Rev. Jean-Gilles Sem spoke with dozens of people who wore white T-shirts with Moise’s image embossed on them.
He said that “the killings and kidnappings must stop,” noting that the poor are most affected. “We are tired.”
The Mass at Cap-Haitien’s cathedral was only half-full. Moise supporters continued interrupting the Mass and accusing Haiti’s elites of murdering the president.
Outside the church, a man identifying himself as John Jovie threatened violence if wealthy Port-au-Prince residents showed up to the ceremonies.
He said, “We ask them to not come to the funeral.” “If they do come, we will shave their heads. We will get our guns out from under cover. We want justice for Moise.
Cap-Haitien’s mayor arrived at the cathedral with strong security. Men armed with powerful weapons were on standby throughout the Mass.
Nearby, people signed a blue condolences booklet that the mayor’s office set up near the cathedral. Well-wishers stood in front of a Moise portrait and rows of candles whose flames flickered against the hot wind.
“My President. Go in peace. God sees all. Louis Judlin (36-year-old electrician, father of two) wrote: “Fight for Change.”
He stated that he was unemployed and finds it difficult to provide food for his family. “Life in Haiti is hard. Judlin stated that it is difficult to eat, go to school, have transportation, and health.
First lady Martine Moise, her children and grandchildren attended a small religious service where government officials, including the newly appointed Prime Minister Ariel Henry, offered their condolences. This was her first public appearance since she arrived in Cap-Haitien. She made no public comments.
The Mass was celebrated a day after violence broke out in Quartier-Morin. It is located between Cap-Haitien’s hometown and Moise. Witnesses claimed that a man was killed in protests by armed men, who blockaded roads with large stones and burned tires.
Aurelien Stanley, a Moise backer, stated that justice can only be demanded “that’s all we have to do.” “If Jovenel is not treated fairly, we will do everything we can to prevent the funeral from taking place.”
Before the Mass began, many people stood at the door and shouted “Justice for Moise!” Justice for Moise!
As authorities continue to investigate the July 7th attack on the President’s residence, in which he was wounded and several times shot, a private funeral was scheduled for Moise.
The U.S. State Department also announced that Daniel Foote, a career Foreign Service member, was to be its special envoy for Haiti.
Ned Price, spokesperson for the State Department, stated that Foote would “engage with Haitian partners and international partners to foster long-term peace & stability and support efforts in order to hold free and fair presidential or legislative elections.”
Leon Charles, Haiti’s police chief said that 26 suspects had been detained so far. This includes three officers and 18 ex-military personnel from Colombia. Seven other high-ranking officers from the police have been taken into custody, but they were not officially arrested. Authorities are investigating why no one was hurt in the president’s security detail that night.