Haitian politician shot dead, as violent gangs push country to the ‘edge of collapse’
By Bill Van Auken
18 July 2019
At least 45 people were killed in the violence during the last week of June, as the political and paramilitary opposition struggles to hold on to power in Haiti. The death toll is likely to rise as the death toll in the violent repression was recently raised, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR). It was estimated that nearly two thousand people were killed during the last three months in the country.
“The number of Haitians killed by the military and security forces in June was the highest since April and includes at least 90 deaths during the first week of July,” the UN office of protection mission in Haiti reported this week. “This was a sharp decline from the figure of around 110 people killed in May, as a result of a series of high-profile attacks, including the deaths of two former mayors and a university professor, in which the armed forces had targeted unarmed citizens for violent retribution since April.”
On July 1, the “Haiti Solidarity Campaign” (HSC) issued a new statement of solidarity with the families and communities of the victims. “We are shocked by the recent assassination of Chokri Sulaiman,” the statement stated. “We call on the authorities to investigate, to bring the perpetrators to justice, and to ensure that this tragic incident does not become the latest in a long line of massacres, of police killings, of political assassinations, of the massacre of indigenous communities, and of the murder of Haitian students and teachers who have been targeted by state forces with the aim of stifling political dissent.”
Sulaiman, who was the leader of the opposition United Anti-Corruption Committee (UACC), was fatally shot on Tuesday, when he was riding his motorbike in a group of friends outside his house in the Petionville neighborhood of Cité Soleil, located north of Port-au-Prince. When he arrived home the next day, the family found that the bullet wound had been covered with cement. Police have not yet said what motivated the killing.
This latest killing further escalates the conflict between