Haitians on Tuesday took to the streets to protest over increasing insecurity, with demonstrators calling for an end to mass kidnappings.
The protests coincided with the 35th anniversary of Haiti’s 1987 Constitution and other protests and strikes in recent weeks, including growing complaints about Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s inability to confront criminal organizations.
Violence, in particular kidnappings, has increased over the past year despite Henry’s pledges to crack down on insecurity.
Some protests turned violent in places like the southern city of Les Cayes, where people stormed the local airport and attacked a small plane with a team of humanitarian aid workers helping in the region’s recovery from the recent devastating earthquake.
National Police Inspector Gedeon Chery said that a group of people got onto the terminal’s tarmac, attacked the plane, and then set it on fire.
Chery said he did not know why they attacked the eight-seat Piper Navajo Chieftain plane that belonged to Agape Flights, based in Venice, Florida.
“For 42 years, we’ve been flying to Haiti, and we have weekly mission flights carrying cargo, mail, and humanitarian aid to missionary families throughout Haiti,” a spokesperson for Agape Flights said.
“It is devastating, but we are just thankful that the team is safe,” the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile, domestic and charter airline operators have temporarily halted local flight services in Haiti.
People also marched along the streets of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, where some burned tires.
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