Martissant, Port-au-Prince,
An empty road in Martissant, Port-au-Prince, where gangs have blocked roads that lead to the southern region where Les Cayes is located. Photo via Le Nouvelliste

LES CAYES, Haiti — Residents of Les Cayes, the earthquake-ravaged city in Haiti’s south, took to the streets Apr. 7 and 8 to demand security and access to roadways controlled by gangs for months.

Being cut off through Martissant, a key town whose roads connect Haiti’s southern peninsula to Port-au-Prince, has contributed to a rise in the price of basic necessities, demonstrators said. Unable to drive through the southern roads, residents are forced to travel by air, some said — an option for transport is not affordable to everyone.

The week’s protest follows widespread demonstrations held across Haiti on March 29, the 35th anniversary of Haiti’s Constitution, to denounce ongoing violence and political instability.

Organizers have said the protests mark the start of a movement to force Prime Minister Ariel Henry to take responsibility for providing security against violent gangs terrorizing the country.

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