Haitian president condemns killings after border incident

Jamaica Observer:  

The body of a customs officer was discovered on Tuesday, bringing to seven, the number of people killed in a confrontation sparked by an altercation between a Haitian driver and a customs officer at the Malpasse border crossing point last weekend.

President Jovenel Moise has already called for those responsible to be brought to justice, and he repeated the call after the body of the fifth customs officer to be killed was found in Lake Azuei — the largest lake in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (Caricom) country, 18 miles east of the capital.

“Customs agents and citizens were killed in inhumane conditions on the Malpasse border. Justice must do everything to arrest… and condemn the perpetrators and co-perpetrators of this shameful and barbarous crime,” Moise said.

The incident on Saturday followed the shooting death of a driver returning from the Dominican Republic, resulting in the offices of the customs offices and warehouses being attacked by gunmen, vandalised and looted. One person died during the confrontation.

Unidentified individuals later burned down the Malpasse Police Station, where customs officers had sought refuge.

Several units of the National Police of Haiti were later called out to restore order.

Economy and Finance Minister Ronald Décembre said he condemns, “with the utmost vigour, these acts of an extreme atrocity.

“The seriousness of such acts requires that their perpetrators and accomplices be prosecuted quickly to avoid repetition,” he said, as he offered his condolences to the families of those killed.

Décembre has called on the authorities to investigate the matter as quickly as possible and Jean Bridgens Aristil, the spokesman for the mayor of Ganthier, said that two people have already been detained in connection with the incident.