Two journalists killed in Haiti as gang violence spikes
Police officers take cover during an anti-gang operation in the Portail neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday, April 25, 2023, a day after a mob in the Haitian capital pulled 13 suspected gang members from police custody at a traffic stop and beat and burned them to death with gasoline-soaked tires. (AP Photo/Odelyn Joseph)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Two local journalists have been killed in Haiti over the past couple of weeks as rampant gang violence has gripped the capital of Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement Thursday that radio reporter Dumesky Kersaint was fatally shot in mid-April, while journalist Ricot Jean was found dead on Tuesday.

“The security crisis in the country is putting journalists at a constant risk of extreme violence. It is the authorities’ responsibility to make sure reporters can do their jobs without fear of violence,” said Carlos Martínez de la Serna, CPJ’s program director.

The National Association of Haitian Media also condemned the killings, adding that the “climate of tolerated and fueled violence” led to Kersaint’s death. He was an online journalist for Radio Tele INUREP, according to local media reports.

Meanwhile, Haitian newspaper Le Nouvelliste reported that Jean was kidnapped on Monday and his body discovered the following day. Jean worked for Radio-Tele Evolution Inter, it said.

At least nine journalists were killed in Haiti last year, the deadliest year for Haitian journalism in recent history, according to UNESCO.

Overall, at least 21 journalists were killed from 2000 to 2022 in Haiti, the organisation said.

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