Protests have been taking place in Haiti since February 2019 amid allegations of government corruption. President Moise broadcast a speech amid persistent anti-government sentiment and a spike in widespread protests over the country's worsening fuel shortages, which took off at the end of August. The president survived an impeachment vote in Parliament Aug. 22, but he remains extremely unpopular across civil society and opposition groups, especially since he was implicated in an embezzlement scheme. WorldAware is monitoring the ongoing situation in Haiti. View all prior alerts

 

Navigate to each of the alert updates below: 

Nov. 10 | Warning AlertOpposition protests planned nationwide in Haiti, Nov. 10. Largest gathering in Petionville, Port-au-Prince. Elevated threat of violence.

Oct. 29 | Warning AlertViolent anti-government protests likely to persist nationwide in Haiti, especially in Port-au-Prince, through November.

Oct. 28 | Warning AlertOpposition protests planned nationwide in Haiti, Oct. 28-30. Largest gatherings likely in Port-au-Prince. Elevated threat of violence.

Oct. 2 | Warning AlertAnti-government activists to protest in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 4, to demand President Jovenel Moise's resignation. Clashes possible.

Sept. 29 | Warning AlertNationwide fuel protests likely to persist in Haiti, especially in Port-au-Prince, through October.

Sept. 27 | Warning AlertViolent nationwide protests in Haiti, Sept. 27. Roadblocks, clashes taking place, especially in and around Port-au-Prince.


Oct. 29 | Warning Alert
Violent anti-government protests likely to persist nationwide in Haiti, especially in Port-au-Prince, through November.

 

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This alert began 29 Oct 2019 12:37 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Nov 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Protests
  • Location: Nationwide, especially Port-au-Prince 
  • Time Frame: Through November
  • Impact: Increased security, business and traffic disruptions; probable clashes and looting

 

Summary

Opposition groups and civil society organizations are likely to continue to hold protests and strikes against President Jovenel Moise, through November. Opposition groups are demanding that Moise resign; however, the president has refused to do so amid the country's ongoing crisis, further fueling the protests. The unrest has caused major disruptions to transport and business operations and resulted in the intermittent closure of private businesses, banks, hotels, and schools since September.

Port-au-Prince is likely to remain the focal city for the protests. No areas in the capital are immune to the threat of civil unrest; nonetheless, flashpoints for protests include Rue Champs de Mars, Palais National, and Parliament, as well as Delmas, Petionville, and the Pelerin 5 area, where the president resides. Large protests, which are prone to violence, are also likely to take place in Cap-Haitien, Gonaives, Jacmel, Jeremie, Les Cayes, Petit Goave, and Saint-Marc.

Police will likely deploy in force throughout Port-au-Prince and other urban centers. The protests carry an elevated threat of clashes; violence will almost certainly occur if protesters attempt to demonstrate in areas near the president's residence. Police in Haiti often make use of tear gas to disperse protests; security forces have reportedly also made use of live ammunition during the September protests. As they have done recently, protesters may continue to block roads, burn vehicles, vandalize private businesses, and loot stores. The threat of violence also increases if local gangs, who are often armed, join the demonstrations. Some local gang members in Port-au-Prince have threatened to use live ammunition against government personnel.


 

Background and Analysis

The protests escalated at the end of August, initially over fuel shortages, and a persistent anti-government sentiment has sustained the protests. Moise remains extremely unpopular across civil society and opposition groups, especially since he was implicated in an embezzlement scheme. An additional challenge for Moise is the Senate's refusal to ratify Prime Minister Fritz-William Michel, who has also been implicated in a corruption scandal. With the Senate's repeated refusal to ratify the Prime Minister or his cabinet, Haiti has been without a government since March 18. The country is unable to rely on significant amounts of aid, which is dependent on having a government and budget approval by both chambers of the national assembly. Moise may seek to keep replacing his candidate as Prime Minister; however, opposition groups insist that changes in the government will not improve the political situation in Haiti unless Moise resigns.

Protester fatigue could lead to the demonstrations losing momentum over the coming weeks; this has occurred in Haiti in the past. Nonetheless, the security situation could deteriorate at short notice, and the country will likely continue to be affected by intermittent periods of heightened tensions when there is an uptick in violent civil unrest until Moise resigns.


 

Advice

Avoid all protests; shelter in place if unrest occurs nearby. Monitor local media for information regarding protest activity and road closures, especially in Port-au-Prince, as demonstrations may occur with little-to-no warning. Do not attempt to pass through roadblocks; wait for authorities to remove them. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.


Oct. 28 | Warning Alert
Opposition protests planned nationwide in Haiti, Oct. 28-30. Largest gatherings likely in Port-au-Prince. Elevated threat of violence.

 

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This alert began 28 Oct 2019 16:03 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 Nov 2019 04:00 GMT.

  • Event: Opposition protests
  • Location: Nationwide, especially Port-au-Prince 
  • Time Frame: Through Oct. 30
  • Impact: Increased security, business and traffic disruptions, roadblocks and clashes; possible looting

 

Summary

Opposition groups are planning to stage nationwide protests in Haiti, Oct. 28-30, against President Jovenel Moise. Police officers have also held protests in the capital in recent days demanding better salaries, and are likely to continue their action. The Canadian and French Embassies in Port-au-Prince announced that consular services will be suspended Oct. 28, while the US Embassy will only provide limited services. The largest protests are likely to center on the capital, Port-au-Prince. The current round of protests follow violent unrest in the capital, Oct. 27, which resulted in two fatalities. Similar violence is possible over the coming days.

No areas in the capital are immune to the threat of civil unrest; nonetheless, flashpoints for protests include Rue Champs de Mars, Palais National, and Parliament, as well as Delmas, Petionville, and the Pelerin 5 area, where the president resides. Protests are also likely to take place in Cap-Haitien, Gonaives, Jacmel, Jeremie, Les Cayes, Petit Goave, and Saint-Marc.

Police will likely deploy in force throughout Port-au-Prince and in other urban centers. The protests carry an elevated threat of clashes; violence will almost certainly occur if protesters attempt to demonstrate in areas near the president's residence. As they have done recently, protesters may continue to block roads, burn vehicles, vandalize private businesses, and loot stores. Private businesses, banks, and schools could also close.

The threat of violence is also increased over the coming days in the southern areas of Port-au-Prince, including Martissant, due to threats made by a local gang, Grand Ravine, to use live ammunition on government vehicles from Oct. 28.


 

Background and Analysis

The current round of protests broke out at the end of August over fuel shortages; persistent anti-government sentiment have sustained these protests. A local human rights group has claimed that 17 people have died and 189 others wounded in the unrest during September. The crisis is likely to persist until Moise resigns; however, the president is determined not to step down.

 

Advice

Avoid all protests; shelter in place if unrest occurs nearby. Monitor local media for information regarding protest activity and road closures, especially in Port-au-Prince. Avoid particularly the third district and Martissant area of Port-au-Prince. Do not attempt to pass through roadblocks; wait for authorities to remove them. Confirm all business appointments. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.


Oct. 2 | Warning Alert
Anti-government activists to protest in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Oct. 4, to demand President Jovenel Moise's resignation. Clashes possible.

 

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This alert began 03 Oct 2019 12:00 GMT and is scheduled to expire 04 Oct 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Anti-government protest
  • Location: Port-au-Prince 
  • Date: Oct. 4
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions; heightened security; possible clashes

 

Summary

Activists from several opposition organizations and political parties plan to protest in Port-au-Prince, Oct. 4, to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise. Demonstrators will rally outside the office of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti near Toussant Loverture International Airport (PAP). Organizers have not announce the event's specific start time; however, it will likely begin early in the morning.

The protest will probably draw thousands of participants. Authorities will almost certainly deploy increased security near the protest venue and around the airport, as well as government buildings and the offices of international organizations elsewhere in the Haitian capital. Haitian police have a history of resorting to the use of force to disperse demonstrations; hence, clashes between protesters and police are likely. Transport and business disruptions, including air travel disruptions at PAP, are likely.


 

Background and Analysis

This latest protest follows weeks of demonstrations throughout Haiti, but especially in Port-au-Prince, demanding the government's resignation. The situation returned to relative normalcy Oct. 2 after days of severe transport and business disruptions. Opposition leaders called for the Oct. 4 protest as a way of keeping pressure on President Moise. At least four people were killed during protests in late September.

 

Advice

Avoid all protests. Confirm flights if booked to travel via PAP on Oct. 4. Plan for delays and allow additional time for ground transport in Port-au-Prince. If violence breaks out, leave the area immediately, and seek shelter in a secure location.


Sept. 29 | Warning Alert
Nationwide fuel protests likely to persist in Haiti, especially in Port-au-Prince, through October.

 

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This alert began 29 Sep 2019 15:00 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Oct 2019 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Protests
  • Location: Nationwide, especially Port-au-Prince 
  • Time Frame: Through October
  • Impact: Increased security, business and traffic disruptions; probable clashes and looting

 

 

Summary

Protests over Haiti's severe fuel shortages are likely to persist through October. Demonstrations have expanded recently into a broader condemnation of President Jovenel Moise after he refused to resign, in a televised speech broadcast the early morning hours of Sept. 25. The capital is likely to remain the focal point for fuel-related protests, though violent protests are highly likely in other urban centers, especially Cap-Haitien, Fort-Liberte, Gonaives, Jacmel, Les Cayes, Miragoane, Petit Goave, and Saint-Marc. Recent protests in the capital have been widespread; nonetheless, common flashpoints for protests in Port-au-Prince include Rue Champs de Mars, Palais National, and Parliament, as well as Delmas and Petionville.

Authorities will almost certainly maintain a heavy police presence near any large protests that materialize. Violence is possible; police in Haiti often make use of tear gas to disperse protests; security forces have reportedly also made use of live ammunition during the September protests. Demonstrators commonly block major roads throughout the country, including the National Route 1 and National Route 2, as well as roads leading to Port-au-Prince's Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP). Protesters could burn vehicles, vandalize or set fire to private businesses, and loot stores, including in upscale areas in Delmas and Petionville, Port-au-Prince. Large-scale protests are likely to cause significant disruptions to commercial operations and transport, especially in the capital. Private businesses, banks, and schools could close due to civil unrest.


 

Background and Analysis

Protests over the fuel shortages took off at the end of August; they have been sustained by persistent anti-government sentiment. The president survived an impeachment vote in Parliament, Aug. 22; however, he remains extremely unpopular across civil society and opposition groups, especially since he was implicated in an embezzlement scheme. An additional challenge for Moise is the Senate's refusal to ratify Prime Minister Fritz-William Michel, who has also been implicated in a corruption scandal.

Haiti has been without a government since March 18; the country is unable to rely on significant amounts of aid, which is dependent on having a government and a budget approval by both chambers of the national assembly. Moise may seek to remove Michel from his designation as Prime Minister; however, opposition groups remain adamant that changes in the government will not improve the political situation in Haiti unless Moise resigns.

Protester fatigue could lead to the demonstrations losing momentum over the coming weeks; this has occurred in Haiti in the past. Nonetheless, the security situation could deteriorate at short notice, and the country will likely continue to be affected by intermittent periods of heightened tensions when there is an uptick in violent civil unrest until Moise resigns.


 

Advice

Avoid all protests; shelter in place if unrest occurs nearby. Monitor local media for information regarding protest activity and road closures, especially in Port-au-Prince, as demonstrations may occur with little-to-no warning. Do not attempt to pass through roadblocks; wait for authorities to remove them. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.


Sept. 27 | Warning Alert
Violent nationwide protests in Haiti, Sept. 27. Roadblocks, clashes taking place, especially in and around Port-au-Prince.

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This alert began 27 Sep 2019 18:22 GMT and is scheduled to expire 28 Sep 2019 12:00 GMT.

  • Event: Opposition protests
  • Location: Nationwide, especially Port-au-Prince
  • Date: Sept. 27
  • Impact: Increased security, business and traffic disruptions, roadblocks and clashes

 

Summary

Nationwide protests have turned violent in Haiti, Sept. 27, with reports indicating several casualties. Unconfirmed reports indicate that police have withdrawn from government offices, and government establishments have closed in Port-au-Prince. Crowds that number in the thousands have descended on major highways such as Route de Delmas; several reports indicate that large groups of protesters are making their way to Petionville to the home of President Jovenel Moise.

A group of opposition senators called for the protests to demand the resignation of Moise. The protests follow a televised speech by Moise the early hours of Sept. 25, in which he called for a national truce, but he still refused to resign. The most disruptive and violent protests are taking place in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Other common flashpoints for unrest include Rue Champs de Mars, Palais National, and Parliament, as well as Delmas and Petionville. Potentially violent protests are also likely in Cap-Haitien, Jacmel, Les Cayes, Petit Goave, and Saint-Marc.

Authorities will almost certainly maintain a heavy police presence near any large protests that materialize. The planned demonstrations take place amid sustained, violent protests throughout the country over fuel shortages; the elevated threat of violence extends to both planned and spontaneous protests in Haiti. Demonstrators will almost certainly block major roads within cities, as well as National Routes through the country. Demonstrators have also blocked routes to Port-au-Prince's Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP) in recent days. Protesters could burn vehicles, vandalize or set fire to private businesses, and loot stores, as they did on Sept. 23 in response to news that a senator for the ruling Parti Haitien Tet Kale (PHTK), Jean-Marie Ralph Fethiere, opened fire outside Parliament. Fethiere claimed he was defending himself against a group of protesters. Large-scale protests are likely to cause significant disruptions to commercial operations and transport, especially in the capital. Private businesses, banks, and schools could close due to the civil unrest.


 

Background and Analysis

Moise broadcast his speech amid persistent anti-government sentiment and a spike in widespread protests over the country's worsening fuel shortages, which took off at the end of August. The president survived an impeachment vote in Parliament Aug. 22, but he remains extremely unpopular across civil society and opposition groups, especially since he was implicated in an embezzlement scheme. An additional challenge for Moise is the Senate's refusal to ratify Prime Minister Fritz-William Michel, who has also been implicated in a corruption scandal. Haiti has been without a government since March 18; Michel is the fourth prime minister to be announced during President Moise's term. Moise may seek to remove Michel from his designation as prime minister, but opposition groups remain adamant that changes in the government will not improve the political situation in Haiti unless Moise resigns.

 

Advice

Avoid all protests; shelter in place if unrest occurs nearby. Monitor local media for information regarding protest activity and road closures, especially in Port-au-Prince. Do not attempt to pass through roadblocks; wait for authorities to remove them. Confirm all business appointments. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation.


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