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Multiple injuries reported as thousands in Haiti strike for second straight day

The Haitian Times
By SAM BOJARSKI

A factory workers
A factory workers takes part in a protest demanding a salary increase, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)

PORT-AU-PRINCE – Multiple people were injured as factory workers took to the streets for a second straight day to call for a higher minimum wage. The injuries, according to people on the ground, came at the hands of police.

In all, three women were hospitalized in the two days of protests, after injuries sustained from tear gas. One, a pregnant woman, had breathing difficulties, according to Joseph Jacques Hebreux, a reporter with the Konbit Jounalis Lib, a group of independent journalists working in collaboration with the Haiti Watch blog. 

Two men were also beaten by police, Hebreux told The Haitian Times over Whatsapp. 

“All of these people are workers and laborers,” he wrote in a message translated from Creole. He added that he had no knowledge of any deaths.

More than 4,000 people participated in the protests on Thursday, Feb. 10, Hebreux estimated. 

The tear gas fired at protesters came from police who were trying to disperse workers using tires to block a main road, The Associated Press reported. The Haitian National Police (PNH) did not respond to emails and a social media message requesting comment. 

For two days, workers have demanded that the Haitian government raise the minimum wage from about $5 per day to a little over $14 per day, citing rapid inflation of the Haitian currency. The latest protests occurred near the SONAPI complex of industrial parks in Port-au-Prince. 

Last month, workers at the Caracol Industrial Park, in the Northeastern Department made similar demands, as The Haitian Times also reported

“Each time the factory workers do that, they repress us violently,” said Didier Dominique, a labor rights activist, who cited the injured pregnant woman. Dominique has organized workers through his grassroots organization, Batay Ouvriye

“Police are very, very repressive against us,” he said. 

Editor’s note: A previous version of the article misspelled the name of Konbit Jounalis Lib. The previous version also misstated that Konbit is run by Haiti Watch, when in fact Konbit Jounalis Lib collaborates with the Haiti Watch blog.

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