Frustrated police take to the streets in Haiti

Unidentified individuals set fire to several Carnival stands in Champ-de-Mars, Port-au-Prince on Monday (Feb. 17). (Photo: Enock Arismat, SawPanse.com)

Incensed Haitian police officers took to the streets on Monday (Feb. 17) over poor pay and miserable working conditions.

The US-backed and United Nations-trained Haiti police force is reportedly illegally firing their weapons in the air, vandalising government property and setting fire to viewing stands – ahead of the three-day Pre-Lenten Carnival celebrations slated to place this weekend.

According to a report from the Miami Herald, their anger escalated on Monday after the national police officers, attired in red t-shirts and their faces covered, marched through Port-au-Prince streets calling for their right to be unionised and highlighting other grouses.

Jean-Michel Lapin, acting Prime Minister of Haiti has since come out in strong condemnation of Monday’s violence, calling on police to respect the public order and protect the institution.

 “These barbaric acts, illegal, unacceptable and unworthy of the police, remind us of the indiscriminate violence of extremists and terrorists who are hiding behind the demands to sow disorder and chaos,” he said in a press statement Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 18).