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Police officer fatally ambushed in Artibonite; Haiti second killed within week

www.haitiantimes.com
By Juhakenson Blaise

Police officer Anthony Dumas
Police officer Anthony Dumas Headshot. / Photo Credit: constanthaiti.info

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Anthony Dumas, a police officer stationed in the Artibonite Department’s Maintenance of Order Unit, was killed in an ambush on the road to  Gros-Morne, on July 28. The death comes one week after another officer was killed, signifying an increasingly intensifying period of violence and warfare perpetrated by various groups. 

Dumas was shot in the head by armed individuals known to be members of the gang “Pendu,” Creole for hanged, according to local media.

Bernard Henry Gousse, a former Minister of Justice, said police officers are often the victims of gang attacks. He praised the courage of officers who seek to restore peace in the country despite the lack of equipment

“In the midst of these unfavorable currents, the Haitian National Police once again becomes a proud body that is forged in pain but also unfortunately in mourning,” Gousse tweeted on July 28. 

No official communication from the PNH has been made about the murder. 

Dumas’s killing adds to the list of officers killed in the line of duty recently. The weekend prior, Reginald Laleau, a police inspector, was killed while attending a worship service in Meyer’s Assembly of God church in Croix -des-Bouquets. Members of “400 Mawozo” gang are suspected in that killing.

Officers and their families have long complained that police are not properly equipped to fight off criminals who often have better weapons, vehicles and other tools. 

To incentivize some officers to join or stay with PNH, Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced at a ceremony in July that some Haitian police officers who fall victim during special operations will be eligible to receive extra compensation as part of a benefits program. Families of officers killed or injured during police operations will also be able to receive the special “risk allowance” payments, which may range from about US $4,400 to $8,800. 

“The amount set will never compensate for the damage suffered, they can only reflect the consideration and recognition that the Haitian people owe to those who protect them” Henry said.

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