Haití: disparos, gases lacrimógenos y disturbios durante el funeral del presidente Jovenel Moise

Las delegaciones extranjeras debieron abandonar la ceremonia fúnebre cuando la policía respondió al tiroteo. Manifestantes pidieron justicia y acusaban al feje de la policía, Leon Charles, de “asesino”

Momentos después del inicio de la ceremonia fúnebre del presidente Jovenel Moise, quien fue asesinado hace dos semanas, la policía de Haití lanzó gases lacrimógenos en medio del sonido de disparos el viernes.

La delegación estadounidense, encabezada por la embajadora de Estados Unidos ante las Naciones Unidas, Linda Thomas Greenfield, interrumpió su visita poco después de que comenzara el tiroteo alrededor de las 10, hora local.

“El pueblo haitiano merece democracia, estabilidad, seguridad y prosperidad, y los apoyamos en este momento de crisis”, dijo Thomas-Greenfield en Twitter. “Instamos a todos a que se expresen pacíficamente y se abstengan de la violencia”.

Momentos después, la representante especial de las Naciones Unidas en Haití, Helen La Lime, se fue apresuradamente con su séquito.

Antes de que comenzara el funeral, la multitud comenzó a gritar “Asesino” cuando llegó el jefe de la Policía Nacional de Haití, Leon Charles. A ellos se unieron otros que gritaban: “¿Dónde está Jovenel?”.

No hubo informes inmediatos de heridos entre los manifestantes o las autoridades, y no hay indicios de que los invitados al funeral estuvieran en peligro.

El humo entró en el recinto. Docenas de policías y oficiales de seguridad formaron cordones de protección alrededor de los oficiales haitianos en las gradas.

El funeral fue retomado después de que la policía rodeara rápidamente el área cerca de la carpa que albergaba el ataúd de Moise para la ceremonia y disparara gases lacrimógenos, ya que se podían ver a lo lejos nubes de humo de neumáticos en llamas.

El funeral, cargado de emoción y tensión, comenzó poco después de la llegada de la Primera Dama Martine Moise. Flanqueada por guardaespaldas, prensa y multitudes que gritaban “Justicia, justicia”, Martine Moise caminó hacia el escenario, se detuvo ante un retrato de su difunto esposo y luego recorrió el escenario cubierta de rosas blancas, aves del paraíso y claveles.

Los manifestantes en Cabo Haitiano expresaban su enojo por las muchas preguntas que siguen sin respuesta sobre el asesinato, incluido quién lo planeó y por qué.

“Perdiste una batalla, pero la guerra no ha terminado. Debemos encontrar justicia para ti”, dijo la viuda en criollo haitiano, con el rostro casi oculto bajo un sombrero negro de ala ancha y el brazo derecho en cabestrillo. ser herido en el ataque.

Además, dijo que el sistema estaba en su contra, citando poderosos intereses comerciales vistos en el país como una oligarquía de facto, sin dar detalles. “Clama por justicia. No queremos venganza, queremos justicia”, agregó.

Con información de Reuters

Haitian president’s hometown holds funeral amid violence

As the ceremony began, hundreds of protesters clashed with police outside the private residence.olds funeral amid violence

As the ceremony began, hundreds of protesters clashed with police outside the private residence.

CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti (AP) — The funeral for slain Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was briefly interrupted Friday by nearby gunfire and tear gas as well as agitated supporters that caused U.S. and U.N. officials to leave before his widow spoke publicly for the first time since the attack.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the private compound where Moïse’s funeral was held as some mourners inside shouted, “Justice for Jovenel!” and cheered when Martine Moïse, who was seriously injured in the July 7 attack at the couple’s private home, rose to the podium at the end of the ceremony.

“They’re watching us, waiting for us to be afraid,” she said. “We don’t want vengeance or violence. We’re not going to be scared.”

Smoke and ash from burning barricades that demonstrators set up around the compound, along with tear gas fired by police, blew through the ceremony as Martine Moïse and others spoke.

Her soft voice grew stronger through the 15-minute speech as she thanked the crowd for their support and said those responsible would not assassinate Jovenel Moïse’s vision, ideas or dreams for Haiti.

“We lost a fight, but we did not lose the war,” she said as she condemned the country’s oligarchs and suggested that Moïse was killed in his pursuit to provide electricity, build roads and make a better life for poor people. She later addressed his killers: “They are here looking at us. They are not even hiding.”

The funeral was held amid heavy security following violent protests and fears of political volatility in the Caribbean nation.

Before the funeral began, cries of “Assassin!” filled the air at the arrival of Haiti’s National Police Chief León Charles. Haitians clad in somber suits, shiny shoes and black and white formal dresses shouted and pointed fingers at the neighboring seating platforms where Haitian officials and foreign dignitaries sat above at least a dozen men with high-powered weapons.

“You didn’t take any measures to save Jovenel! You contributed to his killing!” one woman yelled.

On the grounds below, one Moïse supporter threatened Charles: “You need to leave now or we’re going to get you after the funeral!”

Yves Paul Leandre, spokesman for Haiti’s Communications Ministry, told The Associated Press that the U.S. and United Nations delegations left about 10 to 15 minutes after arriving due to hostile words that Moïse supporters inside the compound hurled at everyone arriving.

Two U.S. officials confirmed there was an incident at the event and that the U.S. delegation left early. All members of the U.S. delegation were safe and accounted for and it does not appear they were targeted, according to the officials, who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed later Friday that all members of the U.S. delegation were “safe and accounted for” and said those who traveled from Washington, D.C. for the funeral had arrived back in the United States.

“The United States remains deeply concerned about the situation on the ground in Haiti. We strongly urge all parties to express themselves peacefully, and call on Haiti’s leaders to be clear that their supporters must refrain from violence. In this critical moment, Haiti’s leaders must work together and engage in a broad and inclusive dialogue that is reflective of the will of the Haitian people,” Sullivan said in a statement. “The Presidential Delegation, led by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and joined by Representative Meeks and Representative Fortenberry, met with senior Haitian officials and civil society leaders and shared this message directly.”

Sullivan said the U.S. will continue to provide “requested assistance” and resources to the Haitian National Police and the Government of Haiti “amid ongoing security challenges.” The departments of Justice and Homeland Security will also provide investigative assistance to Haitian authorities as it looks for those responsible for Moïse’s death, he said.

“The United States stands with the people of Haiti in this challenging time,” Sullivan said.

Shortly before the funeral began, Martine Moïse arrived to cries of “Justice! Justice!” as she headed straight to her husband’s casket, climbing the stairs and stopping in front of it. With her right arm in a sling, she lay her left arm on the casket draped with a large Haitian flag and then brought it to her heart as she stood there in silence. Her eyes filled with tears as her three children joined her.

Minutes later, a group of supporters grabbed a large portrait of Moïse and paraded with it as the police band began to play the national anthem over loud wails.

White T-shirts and caps emblazoned with Moïse’s picture were distributed to supporters the day before the final ceremony to honor Moïse.

“This is something that will be engraved in our memory,” said Pedro Guilloume, a Cap-Haitien resident. “Let all Haitians channel solidarity.”

Before the funeral began, a man wrapped himself in a large Haitian flag and approached the casket, crying out, “We need to fight and get justice for Jovenel!” Next to him, a man carrying a T-shirt commemorating Moïse joined in as he yelled, “Jovenel died big! He died for me and for the rest of the country…We’re not going to back down.”

Once the funeral ended, protesters threw rocks at a caravan of Haitian authorities and journalists that were leaving.

The funeral comes days after Prime Minister Ariel Henry, with support from key international diplomats, was installed in Haiti — a move that appeared aimed at averting a leadership struggle following Moïse’s assassination.

Henry, who was designated prime minister by Moïse before he was slain but never sworn in, replaced interim prime minister Claude Joseph and has promised to form a provisional consensus government until elections are held.

On Wednesday and Thursday, violent demonstrations hit neighborhoods in and around Cap-Haitien as groups of men fired shots into the air and blocked some roads with blazing tires. One heavily guarded police convoy carrying unknown officials drove through one flaming barricade, with a vehicle nearly flipping over.

A priest who presided over a Thursday Mass at Cap-Haitien’s cathedral to honor Moïse warned there was too much bloodshed in Haiti as he asked people to find peace, noting that the poorest communities are affected.

Moïse was sworn in as Haiti’s president in February 2017 and faced increasing criticism in recent years from those who accused him of becoming increasingly authoritarian. He had been ruling by decree for more than a year after the country failed to hold legislative elections.

Authorities have said that at least 26 suspects have been arrested in the killing, including 18 former Colombian soldiers. Police are still looking for several more suspects they say were involved in the assassination plot, including a former rebel leader and an ex-senator.

Myah Ward contributed to this report.