Motorcycle riders waiting on line at a gas station. Photo by George H. Rouzier for The Haitian Times

Tension rose in many parts of Haiti as public transport drivers joined with motorcyclists and took to the streets Thursday to demand access to the country’s fuel, Radio Metropole and the local daily Le Nouvelliste reported.

In Port-au-Prince, demonstrators blocked roads with barricades, as they asked for access to buy gasoline for their vehicles. Heavy gunfire was heard in various parts of the capital throughout the day until late afternoon.

Similar demonstrations occurred in Mirebalais, Jérémie, Cap-Haitien and Gonaives, prompting schools to release students early and businesses to close.

Adding to the tension, the Association of Gas Products Transporters threatened to strike to protest against violence and the kidnappings of truck drivers transporting fuel to the gas stations. Motorcycle riders and taxi drivers have been protesting daily since Oct.18 over the gas shortage in different parts of Haiti. The drivers say the fuel shortage is a scam, created by gas station owners and street vendors to charge higher prices. Read more

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