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Journalist wounded in renewed Haiti clashes

Haiti has been plunged into political crisis, with everyday life paralyzed by protests and barricades
Haiti has been plunged into political crisis, with everyday life paralyzed by protests and barricades AFP
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Port-au-Prince (AFP)

Violent clashes between police and demonstrators left a journalist wounded in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince Wednesday -- the latest confrontations in a week of protests demanding the resignation of President Jovenel Moise.

"It's a popular uprising: Haitians are occupying the streets so it is clear that Jovenel (Moise) has no choice but to resign," said demonstrator Prophete Hilaire, who was marching across the capital.

"A government that cannot give its people nourishment and water must step down," he added.

A Haitian journalist was wounded in the center of the capital during a shootout between officers and a group of protesters, an AFP journalist said.

A few meters from the presidential offices, clashes between young people -- many from poor neighborhoods -- and the authorities became intense, with the groups throwing stones and tear gas grenades.

Since February 7, at least six people have died as Haiti has been plunged into political crisis, with everyday life paralyzed by protests and barricades in the largest towns.

Demonstrators are demanding Moise quit over a scandal centering on the Petrocaribe fund, under which Venezuela supplied Haiti and other Caribbean and Central American countries with oil at cut-rate prices and on easy credit terms for years.

A report released in January on the misuse of the money named a company that was then headed by Moise as a beneficiary of funds from a road construction project that never had a signed contract.

During his election campaign, Moise promised "food on every plate and money in every pocket," yet most Haitians still struggle to make ends meet and face inflation that has risen 15 percent since his election.

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