Two journalists shot dead in street mayhem ahead of rival gang leader interview

Amady John Wesley and Wilguens Louissaint were killed on the outskirts of the capital Port-au-Prince in Haiti after interviewing the leader of a rival gang

Two journalists were killed on the outskirts of the capital Port-au-Prince in Haiti. File image (

Image: REUTERS)

Two journalists were killed after being shot while interviewing a gang leader in a violent area of ​​Haiti that is at the center of a turf war, according to police and local media.

Amady John Wesley and Wilguens Louissaint died on the outskirts of the capital Port-au-Prince by members of a rival gang after interviewing the boss of another group.

Mr Wesley worked for the Montreal-based radio station Ecoute FM and Mr Louissaint was a local reporter, a police source said.

Ecoute FM confirmed Wesley’s death in a statement, with Francky Attis, the broadcaster’s general manager, calling the murder a “criminal and barbaric act”.

A third journalist in the group escaped the attack, the police officer said.

Amady John Wesley and Wilguens Louissaint were killed while trying to interview a gang leader. File image
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Image:

SABIN JOHNSON / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock)

Several gangs are fighting for control of the Laboule 12 area where the murders took place.

“We condemn this criminal and barbaric act in the strongest,” Attis said in a statement from Radio Ecoute FM.

He denounced the “serious attack on the right to life” and “journalists who practice their profession in this country”.

Based in the Canadian city of Montreal, home to a large Haitian community, the media company called on the Haitian government to “act responsibly to create favorable security conditions for all”.

Violence is widespread in Haiti, with at least 950 kidnappings recorded in 2021. File image
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Image:

REUTERS)

Gangs in Haiti have recently expanded their reach beyond the poorer neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince.

The Laboule 12 area is the subject of intense fighting between several armed gangs trying to gain control.

A route through the area is the only alternative to reach the southern half of the country off the main road, which has been controlled by one of Haiti’s most powerful gangs since June.

Six months ago then-President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in his private residence in Port-au-Prince, compounding the political and security crisis Haitians face every day.

Haiti recorded at least 950 kidnappings in 2021, according to the Center for Human Rights Analysis and Research, based in Port-au-Prince.

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