5th day of Haitian protests rage

Women lead a housing protest in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince

A fifth day of anti-government protests raged in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince and other cities on Monday, paralysing much of the country amid rising violence.

Schools, shops and municipal offices were largely shuttered in the capital and many roads were closed by barricades erected by protesters.

Thousands poured out of the capital’s slums towards wealthier neighbourhoods in the city centre, where there were reports of rioting and looting alongside peaceful protests.

Police have used tear gas and live fire in the air to disperse rallies over the past five days. Several deaths have been reported.

Demonstrators want President Jovenel Moise to resign over a corruption scandal and for failing to improve the economy in the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.

Moise is accused of failing to investigate alleged corruption in the previous administration over Petrocaribe, a Venezuelan-subsidised energy programme.

The Superior Court of Auditors earlier this month released a report linking former ministers and senior officials to economic mismanagement and the misappropriation of funds loaned to the country by Venezuela since 2008.

The report also mentioned a company that was formerly headed by Moise and had received funds from a road construction project, but never had a signed contract.

The government has been quiet in the past several days as the opposition continues to push for Moise’s resignation two years after his inauguration.

During his election campaign, Moise promised ‘food on every plate and money in every pocket,’ but the 15 per cent inflation rate has eaten into people’s purchasing power.

Around 60 per cent of Haiti’s population of 10.4 million lives below the poverty line of $2.41 per day, according to the World Bank.