Former member of Haiti’s Parliament Arnel Belizaire during a press conference. Photo via Radio 96.5 Explosion

By Juhakenson Blaise

PORT-AU-PRINCE — A former member of Haiti’s Parliament shot at least four times was waiting to be transported abroad for treatment Thursday, a close friend said. Arnel Belizaire was in the Sanfils district of the capital when the shooting occurred Wednesday, the same day many residents took to the streets to protest against insecurity across the country. 

“Efforts are underway to transport the victim outside of the country for him to receive necessary care,” Belizaire’s friend Pierre Kilick Cemelus told The Haitian Times Thursday.

Belizaire was leading a demonstration Wednesday when shots rang out, injuring him and several others in the crowd. The shooters have not yet been identified.

Belizaire was rushed to Canape Vert Hospital in the capital to receive emergency care.

Belizaire was a member of Parliament from 2011 to 2015 representing the commune of Delmas. Both Cemelus and Belizaire were arrested in Jacmel in November 2019, under the presidency of Jovenel Moise. They have spent 2 years in prison and were released in December 2021 

Following the attack, Jacques Lafontant, a prosecutor at the Port-au-Prince Court of first instance, asked the executive director of the judicial police, Frederick Leconte, to investigate.

In a video shared on WhatsApp, demonstrators are heard calling for Prime Minister Ariel Henry to be removed from power and accusing him of arming the gangs terrorizing the country.

This demonstration took place one day after Port-au-Prince and several other cities. In Les Cayes, one person was killed and several were wounded, including four police officers, during the demonstration, according to the police spokesperson in the south Yves Lessage.

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