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Police: 2 dead, dozens injured in protests across Haiti

October 18, 2018
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A police officer fires his shotgun during a protest demanding to know how Petro Caribe funds have been used by the current and past administrations, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. Much of the financial support to help Haiti rebuild after the 2010 earthquake comes from Venezuela's Petro Caribe fund, a 2005 pact that gives suppliers below-market financing for oil and is under the control of the central government. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — At least two people were killed and dozens injured during large protests across Haiti over alleged misuse of government funds, authorities said Thursday.

Police spokesman Michel-Ange Louis-Jeune said 11 civilians were injured by bullets and 11 officers by flying rocks. However, municipal officials reported higher numbers.

Saint-Marc Deputy Mayor Frantz Ulysse said 14 people were injured on Wednesday when police opened fire to clear a road for a presidential motorcade as the government commemorated the death of independence hero Jean-Jacques Dessalines. Ulysse said 10 people were hit by bullets and three are in critical condition.

Protesters were demanding more transparency in how the government uses funds from Petrocaribe, an oil assistance program sponsored by Venezuela. An investigation by Haiti’s Senate found that at least 14 former government officials allegedly misused $3.8 billion under the administration of former President Michel Martelly.

Many protesters also demanded the resignation of President Jovenel Moise, accusing him of blocking investigations into what happened to the Petrocaribe funds.

Moise tweeted that his administration would determine who was responsible and called for an investigation into those involved with the misuse of funds.

“No one will escape justice,” he wrote. “It’s a moral and judicial duty.”

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