….calls for CARICOM to do more in Haiti
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE gruesome killing of two journalists in Haiti, has eparked in condemnation from regional and international agencies, all of which are calling for a quick end to the ongoing violence and protection of journalists in the French-speaking nation.
On Thursday (Jan. 6), journalists John Wesley Amady and Wilguens Louissaint were gunned down before their bodies were burnt by warring rival gangs in Laboule 12, Southwest of Port-au-Prince.
In a statement, the Caribbean Media Workers Association condemned the action, saying it is “shocked and horrified by the savage and murderous attack suffered by two journalists”.
A third journalist had reportedly escaped with the aid of residents of the area.
The United Nations has reportedly called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice for the barbaric act.
According to the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), the police force recovered the bodies, which were riddled with bullets, including wounds to the head.
“All members of the Caribbean Media Workers Association are deeply concerned about the constant growth of violence in the country and the climate of fear and intimidation with which media professionals must perform their duties.
“We send our sincere condolences to the families of two of our colleagues, John Wesley Amady, Canada based Listen FM Radio and Wilguens Louissaint, local journalist, who lost their lives while conducting interviews in The Laboule neighborhood,” the statement read.
Journalists have been the target of violence and slander across the region and internationally.
The United Nations had reported 55 journalist deaths for 2021, with the Asia-Pacific region (23) and the Latin America and Caribbean (14) accounting for 14, are the leading locations for harm.
In the Federation, though no harm has been inflicted on journalists for plying their trade, there has been growing concerns over the years that nefarious actors and fake social media persons have used their platform to describe journalists in a derogatory manner. In some cases even tagging politicians who do not agree with some of what is being written.
Meanwhile, the ACM has called on the Haitian authorities to “strengthen as much as general security, the protection of journalists across the country”.
The body also called on “CARICOM, OEA and other international and inter-governmental agencies to pressurise measures to be taken to address these concerns.