PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — More than 1,000 Haitians marched through the Caribbean nation's capital Monday to protest a reported plan to destroy their hillside shanties for a flood-control project before they have found better, more permanent dwellings in the wake of a devastating earthquake. Police fired tear gas in an attempt to control the protesters, some of whom threw rocks.
The demonstrators snaked through the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area chanting threats to burn down the relatively affluent district if the authorities flatten their homes.
The No. 2 official at the Environment Ministry, Pierre Andre Gedeon, said on a local radio broadcast last week that officials want to demolish several hundred homes to build channels and reforest the hillsides in an effort to curb the deadly floods that come with the annual rainy season. Officials have made no other public reference to the plan and calls to the ministry on Monday were not answered.
Many of the threatened homes are in Jalousie, a cinderblock shantytown that spreads across a mountainside alongside the relatively affluent city of Petionville that makes up the Port-au-Prince metro area.
The protesters said President Michel Martelly fell short on his promise to build homes destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. The disaster destroyed tens of thousands houses in the capital and other cities in the south and officials said 314,000 people died.
"Martelly didn't build any houses. How can he destroy our homes?" said 22-year-old Joel Jean-Pierre. "If he comes to destroy our homes we're going to burn down Petionville."
The government is building hundreds of homes north of the capital but, but too few to house the more than 400,000 people still living in the precarious settlements that emerged in the aftermath of the quake.
In an effort to move people out of the camps, the Haitian government, foreign aid groups and governments gave yearlong rental subsidies, and residents of six highly visible camps moved into hillside shanty areas such as Jalouise, where some fear they now face demolition of their new homes. Others have moved there because they were evicted by land owners.
Port-au-Prince, a city of some 3 million, has seen concrete houses and hovels sprawl across its hills because governments past and present have failed to provide affordable housing. Many of those homes crash down the hills every year during the country's rainy seasons and people often die.
The march on Monday began peacefully but some protesters threw rocks at a towering hotel financed in part by the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, a nonprofit set up after the earthquake by former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The demonstrators were angry to see the opulent hotel under construction amid fears that they will lose their homes.
When the protesters reached downtown Port-au-Prince, riot police carrying shields tried to break up the crowds by firing tear gas canisters. Some people threw rocks at the police and also at passing motorists, some of whom had their windows broken.
Associated Press reporters saw one woman injured in the head because she got hit in the head with a rock.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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