Haiti. At the beginning of the year, a major corruption scandal was revealed in which previous governments in a Senate report were accused of embezzling up to $ 2 billion from Venezuela between 2008 and 2016. In October, violent demonstrations were held with thousands of participants across the country. However, no allegations were made directly against President Jovenel Moïse, but against former presidents and ministers. Instead, the protests were about the culture of corruption in general in the country and distrust of President Moïse’s ability to handle the matter. The demonstrations became increasingly extensive towards the end of the year and affected the lives of several people. At a public ceremony in the capital Port-au-Prince on October 17 to honor the memory of the 1806 murdered freedom hero Jean-Jacques Dessalines, President Moïse himself was shot but escaped unharmed.
- According to Abbreviationfinder: HTI is an three letter acronym for Haiti.
As a result of the Petrocari scandal, Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant was forced to resign in July with his entire newly reformed government. His successor Jean-Henry Céant announced at the end of October that an independent commission would be appointed to investigate the charges.
According to Countryaah.com, Port-au-Prince is the capital city of Haiti, a country located in North America. A dissatisfaction directed more directly at President Moïse followed his announcement in early July that fuel prices would be raised by between 38 and 51%. The decision was in line with an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from February and prompted further street protests. Both the fuel price hike and the anger that $ 2 billion was neglected in the Petrocari scandal should be seen in the background that over half of Haiti’s population lives on less than $ 2 a day. A World Bank report also showed that 24% live below the extreme poverty line and another report from the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in February estimated the annual inflation rate in 2017 at 14%.
In the midst of the political turmoil, Haiti was hit by a major earthquake on October 6, measured at 5.9 on the Richter scale. Eighteen people were killed and over 50,000 were affected by the earthquake, which also destroyed or damaged over 10,000 residential buildings.
The arduous process of democratization started in the second half of the 1990s, after a twenty-year dictatorship (1964-1986) and a turbulent period characterized by repeated coups d’etat, was abruptly interrupted in the early 2000s, when the country found itself on the brink again. of the civil war. The political clash between the new president R. Preval, exponent of the Organization Politique Lavalas (since 1998 Organization du Peuple en Lutte, OPL) elected in 1995, and the outgoing president J.-B. Aristide, leader of the Fanmi lavalas party since 1996(FL), in fact in this period became particularly harsh and the characteristics of a system not very accustomed to democratic practices quickly re-emerged: authoritarianism, recourse to violence and corruption once again conditioned the logic of government and prevented an effective dialogue between the parties. The prelude to the crisis was the political and administrative elections of May-July 2000. The claim of the FL, contested by the opposition forces that coalesced in the Convergence Démocratique (CD) and international observers, caused the explosion of numerous episodes of violence, which intensified after Aristide’s victory in the presidential elections in November. Boycotted by the CD, they sanctioned the definitive split with the opposition forces, which refused to accept any political solution that did not provide for the immediate resignation of the president. The mediation attempts of the international community proved useless, which used the interruption of financial aid as an instrument of pressure: in the following years Haiti again plunged into chaos and, while the government reshuffles followed, the conditions of the population worsened drastically. Military groups linked to criminal organizations or generals of past regimes, associated with both sides, they began to clash more and more frequently in the different regions of the country. At the beginning of 2004, while the rebel forces controlled numerous cities, the protest also spread to the capital. In February Aristide left Haiti, later declaring that he had been forced to do so by US and French pressure; the office of president was assumed, ad interim, by B. Alexandre who, in March, appointed G. Latortue as prime minister.
The new government, made up of technicians and assisted by a multinational peacekeeping force authorized by the UN, took on the difficult task of promoting national reconciliation and creating the conditions for holding new presidential elections. These took place in February 2006 in a climate of great tension. Obvious electoral fraud at the expense of candidate Preval, who had failed to obtain an absolute majority in the first round, provoked violent popular demonstrations and plunged Haiti into chaos. The electoral commission, after long negotiations, finally proclaimed Preval president. In May JE Alexis was appointed prime minister.