Haitian protesters block major highway
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Reuters) -- Pro-government protesters used
burning barricades on Monday to stop traffic on Haiti's National Route 2, a
busy two-lane artery running the length of country's southern peninsula,
private Radio Haiti Inter reported.
The demonstrators, reported by t he station to number about 50, said they
protesting the suspension to Haiti of international aid and what they said was a
destabilization campaign by the opposition Democratic Convergence coalition.
The radio report gave no details on the form of the barricades, set up
about 15 miles (24 km) west of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. No arrests were
Haiti's president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, has been locked in a two-year
the opposition over May 2000 legislative elections that Aristide's opponents say
were tabulated to favor his Lavalas Family party. Some $500 million in aid has been
suspended as a result of the dispute.
Tensions have escalated in Haiti in recent weeks. Three weeks ago, gang
in the coastal city of Gonaives freed a gang leader and former Aristide militant,
Amiot Metayer, by attacking the local jail with a bulldozer. The attack set off days
of rioting in the city and the burning of several government buildings.
Last week, a dispute over elections at Haiti's state university, which
were being delayed to favor candidates loyal to Lavalas, turned violent when
student protesters in front of the Ministry of Education were attacked by
government partisans. Three people were injured.
Copyright 2002 Reuters.