Haití 2004

During the last days of February 2004, events in Haiti caught the world’s attention. Former military officers had risen up against President Aristide. Their unstoppable advance towards the capital, Port-au-Prince, had provoked a new war in the poorest country in the Americas. They finally succeeded and Aristide was forced to leave. Armed clashes between the rebels and Aristide’s supporters, known as chimeres, had claimed many lives on the streets of the capital. Port-au-Prince was a lawless city. On Sunday 7 March, a demonstration in support of the new regime ended in front of the Presidential Palace, where a fierce clash broke out between the two sides. Several people died, including the Spanish journalist Ricardo Ortega.

A few months later, in mid-September, Cyclone Jeanne crossed the Caribbean. As it passed through Haiti, it completely devastated the city of Gonaives, plunging it into a sea of mud and death. As the days passed and the mud receded, the number of dead bodies increased to approximately 2,500. Meanwhile, street clashes continued day by day in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and rarely a demonstration did not result in fatalities.