By Peter Beaumont for The Guardian
The Haitian political activist Marie Antoinette Duclair appears to have been unaware that two men on a motorbike were following her car through the badly lit streets of Port-au-Prince.
Her passenger on the night of 29 June was a journalist, Diego Charles. They had been attending a meeting, and she was now, at 11 o’clock at night, dropping him at his home in the Christ-Roi area of Haiti’s capital.
As Charles walked to his door the gunmen on the motorbike opened fire, killing him first before murdering Duclair as she sat in her car.
In all, 15 Haitians died in targeted killings that night, including Charles and Duclair. It was not a story that made many international headlines. At least not for very long.
Just over a week later another assassination drowned out interest in that bloody night of violence: that of Haiti’s president, Jovenel Moïse, who was gunned down in his home in the hills above Port-au-Prince by mercenaries in an apparent coup attempt.
If there is a link between the two events it is that they are both brutally representative of the situation in Haiti, the western hemisphere’s most impoverished nation, a country that since 2018 has been convulsed by protests and violence, where guns – and those prepared to use them – are the currency in an escalating crisis. Continue reading