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Haiti third in journalist deaths, but reporters say risks worth it

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Minutes after a motorcycle taxi driver was injured after being hit by a marked police vehicle on Airport Road on Feb. 23, a group of textile workers demonstrating nearby for better pay spotted the same type of vehicle there — a Toyota Land Cruiser. The demonstrators began throwing rocks and yelling at the vehicle’s occupants. 

Journalist Sony Laurore was just about to record the scene on his phone but he noticed a masked police officer in the vehicle’s backseat, aiming a rifle at the crowd. The Laurore TV News reporter dove for cover, but not fast enough to avoid the bullet that grazed his forearm, leaving him bloodied. 

Nearby, Maxiben Lazarre, a photojournalist who worked for Rois des Infos, was shot dead, by a bullet to the chest. RCH 2000 reporter Yves Moise received a bullet to the thigh but survived, along with two others —  another reporter and a protester — who were also shot.

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