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9970: Unrest grips Haitian city over slain journalist (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
By Michael Deibert
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Anti-government
demonstrators manned burning barricades on Thursday as protests over the
death of a journalist erupted in the Haitian coastal city of Petit Goave
for the second time this week, local media reported.
Tensions are running high in the city over the killing of Brignol
Lindor, the 32-year-old news director for private radio station Echo 2000,
who was macheted to death on Dec. 3.
Protesting the failure of authorities to arrest any suspects in the
case, several hundred demonstrators manned barricades along a key highway
and in front of City Hall in Petit Goave, about 56 miles (90 km) west of
the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, private Radio Metropole said.
Lindor was macheted to death by assailants. Members of a peasant
organization, Domi Na Bwa ("Sleeping in the Woods"), allied with President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide's ruling Lavalas Family, have admitted that the
group played a part in the murder in an interview with journalist Guy Delva
of the Association of Haitian Journalists.
The group said the attackers were reacting to attacks on their members
by Aristide's main political opposition, the Democratic Convergence
Lindor's funeral in Petit Goave on Tuesday erupted into protest, with
an estimated three thousand demonstrators marching through the streets
shouting "We Are Not Afraid" and "Down with Aristide!" and exchanging
volleys of stones, bottles and tear gas with police.
Four people were arrested in Thursday's disturbances, a police source
said. One demonstrator, Wilson Belval, was taken to a local hospital with a
bullet wound to the head. No immediate word was available on his condition.
Controversy had been brewing for some time in Petit Goave amid reports
that the city's Deputy Mayor, Dume Bony, had stated that the Aristide
government's anti-crime policy of "zero tolerance," should be applied to
Convergence supporters, including Lindor, whom he mentioned by name.
Aristide and spokesmen for his government have condemned the Lindor
murder and have called for justice in the case.
The city has been tense during Haiti's long-running political dispute
that began with controversy over the results of legislative elections in
May 2000 and has failed to produce an agreement between Lavalas Family and
Convergence on a rerun of the elections.