A demonstration is planned by opposition parties and civil society organizations in Port-au-Prince on Thursday, February 7. The protest is being organized to denounce alleged government corruption and commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the fall of the Jean-Claude Duvalier regime. Demonstrators are expected to gather at the Champs de Mars at 10:30 (local time) and march throughout the city until 15:00. Disruptions are particularly likely around Poste Marchand, Bel Air, Delmas 18, La Saline, Avenue Pan American, and Avenue John Brown areas. Most Western governments have advised their citizens to avoid the abovementionned areas and limit all movements throughout the day. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are to be expected in the capital. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Numerous demonstrations have been staged in recent months to call for greater government transparency after several public officials, including President Jovenel Moïse, were implicated in a scandal related to the alleged misuse of PetroCaribe funds. Violent protests took place in late 2018, with gunfire, roadblocks, and mob violence reported across the country, including in Cap-Haïtien, Pétion-Ville, Lalue, Croix-des-Bouquets, Les Cayes, and Chalon. At least ten people were killed.
Individuals in Haiti are advised to keep abreast of the situation, strictly avoid all protests and associated roadblocks due to the likelihood of violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments (e.g. travel restrictions). Be prepared to shelter in place in the event of prolonged civil unrest (e.g. stockpile supplies of preserved foods and fresh water).
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