French couple come to adopt Haiti shot dead in Port-au-Prince

The hospital in Port-au-Prince where two French citizens were transported after being shot Sunday, November 24, shortly after their arrival in the Haitian capital. VALERIE BAERISWYL / AFP

Two French adopters in Haiti were shot dead Sunday in Port-au-Prince. This couple was traveling for the first time to Haiti as part of an adoption procedure managed for three years by the French Agency for Adoption (AFA). They had to meet for the first time the child that could be entrusted to them.

The French embassy in Haiti has not explained the motives behind these murders, in this country plunged into a serious political and social crisis. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for its part, announced in a statement "His great emotion" after the death of "Two compatriots in Haiti as a result of aggression", assuring that the French Embassy was "In contact with the local authorities so that all the light is shed on this tragedy. "

On Tuesday, the Paris prosecutor's office announced that it had opened a preliminary investigation, entrusted to the Central Office for the Suppression of Violence against Persons (OCRVP), to " voluntary homicide ". The prosecution is competent when a French is a victim of a criminal act abroad.

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Serious social and political crisis

"They did everything in terms of security"AFA said, referring to chronic insecurity in the country. In particular, they registered on the Ariane site, the Quai d'Orsay, which allows French nationals to register a tourist, personal or professional trip lasting less than six months in a foreign country.

"They were told that a taxi, with which AFA works, would come and get them, so that they would be as safe as possible.said the agency. He took them to the airport to drive them to where they were staying. "

The information on the circumstances of their assassination remained, for the time being, partial. But a source told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the couple had been killed during an armed robbery that went wrong.

On its website, the Quai d'Orsay states that the situation in Haiti is "Particularly tense". The country is sinking deeper every day into a serious social and political crisis. The repeated protests, often enamelled with violence, have been calling for the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse since August, and gang violence is worrying civil society.

"The demonstrations, accompanied by roadblocks on major roads and violent acts (throwing rocks, shooting …), are very common. Violent groups are active and maintain a climate of insecurity », already warned the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the site France Diplomatie in a publication dated October 24, 2019, recommending "Postpone any trip until further notice".

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42 dead since mid-September

According to the United Nations, at least 42 people have died in Haiti since mid-September. Two protesters, a local radio journalist and a policeman were injured last Monday during an opposition protest on the anniversary of the battle that brought Haiti to independence.

Marie-Yolène Gilles, Haitian activist for the defense of human rights, worried in mid-November, the proliferation of gang outbreaks in Port-au-Prince and province. "We witness an unlimited increase in crime by armed groups with the support of state officials, by bands tolerated by the political power in place"she accused.

In an interview with AFP last month, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse said he was not "Hanging on a mandate"but had announced no immediate action on the humanitarian, economic and social consequences of the political crisis.


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