PORT-AU-PRINCE — Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry denounced what he calls an assassination attempt against him during Independence Day celebrations in Gonaïves.
“An attempt has been made against me personally. My life has been put in the crosshairs,” Henry said in an interview with Agence France-Presse on Jan. 3.
A gun battle between police and armed gangs erupted as Henry and his entourage were leaving a cathedral on Jan. 1. He had been attending a celebration to commemorate Haiti’s independence from France. One person was killed and two were injured.
Henry and other officials present were forced to flee in haste.
In photos sent to AFP by his office, a bullet impact is visible on the windshield of the Prime Minister’s armored vehicle.
“I knew I was taking this risk,” said Henry, when reached by phone by the French news agency. “We cannot accept that bandits from whatever background they may be, for basely pecuniary reasons, want to blackmail the State.”
He also denounced the act as “electoral blackmail.”
In the same interview, Henry asked the international community for support in training and acquiring equipment.
“With our men, with the police, we are going to get there, we have to get there,” he concluded.