PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Two Haitian reporters were shot dead and their bodies set on fire while reporting in a gang-controlled slum in the capital, the second such killing this year, according to an association of journalists.
The pair were among seven journalists who were attacked in the Cité Soleil neighborhood of Port-au-Prince on Sunday as they investigated worsening violence in the area, including the recent killing of a young girl. 17 years old, according to a press release from the Haitian agency. Association of Independent Journalists.
The victims have been identified as Tayson Latigue and Frantzsen Charles.
Dieudonne St-Cyr, a journalist with the association, told Métropole Haiti radio that the journalists were ambushed by two warring gangs that he did not identify. He said the other five journalists escaped unharmed, adding that the bodies of the two victims had not been found.
The organization condemned what it called a “vile and heinous act” and demanded that the government improve the worsening insecurity in the country amid an upsurge in killings and kidnappings. The gangs have become more powerful since the July 7, 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.
“The journalists were just doing their job,” the group said. “They did not commit any crime.”
The organization said the killings are “further evidence of the state’s inability to protect lives and property, which is nothing but a violation of human rights.”
The Miami-based Inter American Press Association, which has urged authorities to find those responsible, said this year has been one of the most violent against the press since the organization began keeping records in 1987 .
The group noted that Haitian journalists “carry out their work under conditions of extreme risk and disadvantage in terms of resources and protection.”
Prime Minister Ariel Henry also condemned the killings, saying he was “deeply shocked” by the deaths.
“We strongly condemn this barbaric act, while sending our deepest thoughts to the families of the victims and their colleagues,” he tweeted.
In January, two other journalists were killed by gang members while reporting in Laboule, a troubled area south of Port-au-Prince.
Additionally, journalists are still demanding answers about the March 2018 disappearance of freelance photographer Vladjimir Legagneur, who was last seen in the Grand Ravine neighborhood, one of Port’s poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods. -to the Prince.