Two Haitian journalists were killed outside of Port-au-Prince after suspected gang members opened fire.
A group of journalists was investigating the lack of security in the Petion-Ville neighborhood when suspected gang members approached the group and opened fire. Amady John Wesley of Radio Ecoute FM and Wilguens Louissaint, also a journalist, were shot and then burned alive, according to officials. A third unnamed journalist escaped.
“We condemn in the strongest terms this criminal and barbaric act,” said Francky Attis, the general director of Radio Ecoute FM, in a statement.
Attis denounced the “serious attack on the rights to life” and on “journalists exercising their profession freely in this country.”
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Radio Écoute FM confirms John Wesley Amady was killed while reporting on the ground in #Haiti for them.
The station will “suspend all activities until further notice.”
RIP Amady pic.twitter.com/wAXSPWAYGr
Radio Ecoute FM is a station based in Montreal that serves the Canadian city’s large Haitian community. The radio station has suspended operations until further notice “as a sign of solidarity with the family of the victim.” The statement also asked Haiti’s government to “act responsibly to create favorable security conditions for all.”
The suspected shooters are believed to belong to the Ti Makak gang, a source within the Haitian Security Forces told CNN on Friday. The motives and details of the killing are unknown, the source said.
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Haiti has been in political turmoil for several months. Haitian President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in July, worsening the political and security crisis in the country. Gangs have been thriving in the area, regularly kidnapping tourists and residents. Haiti recorded at least 950 kidnappings in 2021, according to the Center for Analysis and Research in Human Rights, which is based in Port-au-Prince.
The most notable kidnapping has been the abduction of 17 Christian missionaries in October. Five of the missionaries were released by their captor, and the remaining 12 were able to escape on their own in December.