Fantom 509 members set the National Office of Identification on fire. Photo credit: Gazette Haiti

A group of allegedly comprising police officers set a government building on fire and shot into the streets Monday in a move to gain the release of former police officer Jean-Pascal Alexandre. The violence came after the group threatened to kill residents and burn government buildings on Tripotay Lakay’s YouTube channel Saturday.

The group, which calls itself Fantom 509, also tried to make its way to the National Palace at Pélerin 5 but could not make it through security barriers. 

Officers in Port-au-Prince refused to assist since Fantom 509 had helped them call for the release of five colleagues on Sunday, so police brass called in officers from the Artibonite and Central Department regions to help. 

No deaths or injuries were reported, but most businesses in Pétion-Ville and Delmas had to close. Media reports did not mention the reason for Alexandre’s arrest. Continue reading

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Onz Chery is a Haiti correspondent for The Haitian Times. Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and Elite Sports New York before joining The Haitian Times in 2019.

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