79th IAPA General Assembly, November 9 - 12, 2023, Mexico City, Mexico


The press continues to suffer the scourge of violence imposed by gangs that control much of the country through attacks, kidnappings, and murders.

The country faces a severe political crisis and a climate of constant insecurity due to the absence of elected authorities and the ineffectiveness of the local police in confronting dozens of gangs that spread terror.

On October 3, the United Nations approved sending a multinational force to Haiti to help the Haitian police eradicate the gangs. Two weeks later, the UN Security Council renewed a resolution passed in October 2022, which imposes a sanctions regime and "demands the immediate cessation of violence, criminal activities, and human rights abuses that undermine the peace, stability, and security of the country and the region."

In addition to the constant insecurity in which journalists carry out their work, there is scant government protection and impunity for the aggressors.

On May 5, radio broadcaster Paul Jean Marie was murdered on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. The presenter of the program "A Voice in the Night," which was broadcast on Radio Lumière, was shot dead in his own home when he tried to take cover from a shootout between gangs fighting over the area where he lived in the municipality of Croix-des-Bouquets, to the east of the Haitian capital.

There were also three kidnappings: Marie Lucie Bonhomme Opont, a journalist with Radio Vision 2000, was abducted on June 14 from her home and released hours later in Tabarre, northeast of Port-au-Prince. Pierre Louis Opont, Bonhomme's husband and co-owner of Télé Pluriel, was kidnapped on June 20 and released on August 25. Blondine Tanis, co-host of the program "Tribune Matinale," broadcast on Radio Rénovation FM 107.1, was kidnapped on July 21 and released nine days later in Delmas, east of the capital.

On July 20, reporters Daniel Lamartinière of Vant Bèf info and Jameson Jean Baptiste of JB Média were beaten by a policeman while covering an anti-government demonstration in the capital.

On July 23 in Liancourt (north,) the headquarters of radio Antarctique 96.1 FM was set on fire during a gang attack.

On the 31st of the same month, reporter Arnold Junior Pierre was beaten while covering a protest southwest of Port-au-Prince.

On August 11, Brown Larose, host of Radio Télé Éclair's "Matin Débat" program, was shot in front of his home but survived the attack.

The impact of armed gangs on the local press was also felt in early September in the Carrefour-Feuilles neighborhood of the Haitian capital, where a dozen journalists had to flee for their lives because their homes were set on fire.

Among the victims were Réginald Esaie Orélus and Richardson Jourdan, journalists with Haitian National Television; Jacques Desrosiers, secretary general of the Association of Haitian Journalists; Celou Flécher and Dessources Dieumaitre, managing directors of Le Facteur and Fact Checking News, both digital media; and Samuel Dallemand and Rubens Artist, reporters with Télé Ginen.

Other victims were Jean Yves Saint-Louis, a journalist with Radio Lumière; Kettia Marcellus, of the organization Solidarity of Haitian Women Journalists (SOFEHJ, in French); Jacques Stevenson Saint-Louis, a journalist with Radio Educative of the Ministry of Education; Judex Vélima, a reporter with Télé Espace; and Arnold Junior Pierre, of Radio Galaxie.

On the legal front, the AyiboPost portal and its editor-in-chief, Widlore Mérancourt, were sued on September 14 by Delphine Gardère, owner of Ron Barbancourt, one of the country's largest companies, alleging that a June 7 report on the company made defamatory accusations about Gardère's election as president of the Franco-Haitian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.