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.
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.