The president marked Saturday by appealing for unity and laying a wreath on the 214th anniversary of the death of Haiti’s first independent ruler, Jean-Jacque Dessalines.
Many Haitians criticize the government’s pandemic response, alleging that authorities have not done enough to provide treatment for those affected, or offered economic support for those who lost work due to a national lockdown aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the impoverished country.
The police have held their own protests this year, demanding better pay and working conditions. In February, police exchanged gunfire with Haitian soldiers outside the national palace where police were protesting working conditions.
Earlier this year, a scathing United Nations report accused Haitian police of corruption and failing to protect the population.
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