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POLITICS: Violent Protests Erupt Again in Haiti

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posted on Oct, 2 2004 @ 07:03 AM
Violence again erupted in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, today as protestors supporting ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide took to the streets. In addition to fires and shooting, three decapitated policemen were found as well. The total number of those killed is up to seven. Aristide who was deposed 9 months ago remains in exile in South Africa.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Supporters of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide took to the streets of Haiti's capital for a second day, shooting wildly, smashing cars and blocking roads with burning tires. Authorities recovered the decapitated bodies of three policemen, among at least seven people killed in the violence.

Tensions have erupted in Port-au-Prince as Haiti struggles to recover from catastrophic flooding caused by Tropical Storm Jeanne two weeks ago.

Supporters of Aristide, who is now in exile in South Africa seven months after his ouster, demanded more demonstrations to commemorate the 1991 army coup that toppled his first government.

Aristide loyalists want an end to "the occupation" and "the invasion" by foreign troops referring to the U.S.-led force that followed Aristide's ouster and the U.N. peacekeepers who took over in June.

Interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue appealed for calm, reaffirming his promise to hold elections in 2005. "We will not use violence and all of our problems must be solved through elections, which will take place next year," Latortue said during a visit to Coral Gables, Fla.

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The renewed violence comes on the heels of the most recent hurricanes devastation. More that 200,000 Haitians have been left homeless and relief efforts have been slow. The effort has been further complicated by looting and violence. Aristide has accused the United States or kidnapping him and flying him out of the country. The U.S. government has stated that he left on his own.


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