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 (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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