PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, Oct 16, CMC – Haitian authorities Tuesday said at least 1, 500 police officers would be deployed on Wednesday as political organisations and other groups gear up to observe the 212th anniversary of the assassination of Emperor Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
The Secretary of State for Public Security, Ronsard St-Cyr, said the authorities have information that several organized groups, will take advantage of the situation and try to destabilize the country by causing riots as had occurred earlier this year.
He said in order to prevent any form of violence during protest movements, 1,500 police officers will be deployed in the metropolitan area and police presence will be strengthened in the rest of the country.
“All measures are taken to protect the lives and property of the population,” St-Cyr said, noting that the groups planning the actions have already been identified.
St-Cyr said measures would be taken to counter those who want to use violence to demand justice.
“We must stop using social networks against the country. If there is any breakage, I will not accept it,” he added.
Political parties say the demonstrations on Wednesday will be over several issues such as the PetroCaribe funds, the cost of living, the minimum wage, the reform of the Constitution as well as the frequent overseas visits of President Jovenel Moise.
An executive member of Fanmi Lavalas Schiller Louidor, said Wednesday will be the big day for accountability.
“We will go to all those who stole PetroCaribe’s money,” he said, warning “protesters will remain on the streets until they get justice in the PetroCaribe case.”
Another opposition member, Michel André said “there will be at least 15 meeting points, to demand the arrest of the squanders of Petrocaribe funds and the return of these funds.”
The spokesman for the National Police of Haiti (PNH), Michel-Ange Louis-Jeune, has issued a warning to those who are preparing to commit acts of violence during the demonstrations.
The spokesman said that instructions have already been passed to departmental directors and specialized units to accompany protesters to ensure that they keep within the law.
The chairman of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the North,
Marc Georges, has urged members to take all precaution amid rumours of violent demonstrations circulating on the social networks.
He has also called on the authorities to ensure that adequate measures are taken to prevent any act of violence in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.