Thousands of people marched in Port-au-Prince on Sunday, May 26, to denounce perceived insecurity and violence against women. As of Sunday evening (local time), local sources report clashes between protesters and police across the capital area, leaving at least one person killed. Demonstrators reportedly launched projectiles at police in Canapé Vert and in Pétion-Ville, where a police inspector was fatally wounded. Roadblocks and localized unrest has also been reported in the Juvenat area.
A heightened security presence and traffic disruptions are likely near all protest sites. The risk of further violence cannot be ruled out.
Crime rates are very high in urban areas throughout Haiti due in part to gang activity. Theft, kidnapping for ransom, and extortion are all common. Foreigners are often specifically targeted due to their presumed wealth. Protests against rising insecurity have taken place across Haiti in recent weeks, including in Gonaïves.
Individuals in Haiti, particularly in the abovementioned area, are advised to remain vigilant, avoid all protests and demonstrations, follow instructions issued by local authorities, and take security precautions (e.g. keep signs of wealth concealed, drive with doors locked and windows rolled up, avoid walking alone, avoid traveling in isolated urban areas at night, etc.). As criminals are often armed, do not attempt to resist would-be attackers or thieves and give up all demanded objects to avoid escalating the situation.
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