Two Haitian journalists were the latest casualties of the increasing gang violence in the beleaguered Caribbean nation. John Wesley Amady and Wilguens Louissaint were slain by “armed bandits” last Thursday in Laboule, a conflict-ridden area south of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince.
Amady, 30, who worked for Montreal-based radio station Radio Ecoute, and Louissaint, 22, a local reporter, were reporting on security issues in the gang-plagued area.
As per initial police statement, the victims were joined by one more journalist who managed to escape the ambush.
Godson Lebrun, president of the Haitian Online Media Association, has called for an investigation on the killing of the two journalists.
“The Almighty Gangs struck again in Haiti at the start of 2022,” said Lebrun. “I bow to the remains of these fellow journalists who were killed just because they wanted to INFORM. I demand an investigation and may justice be granted!”
Initial reports said that Amady and Louissaint were burned alive.
But sources confirmed the bodies were not burned, adding that members of Haiti’s National Police did not go to the scene of the crime on Thursday due to security concerns.
The images of the corpses “do show one of the journalists with a clear gunshot wound in his right temple.”
In a tweet, Haitian prime minister Ariel Henry has offered his condolences to the family of the two journalists.
“I condemn the barbaric assassination of journalists Amady John Wesley and Wilguens Louissaint in Laboule 12. On behalf of the GVT, I offer my condolences to the family and friends of the victims, as well as to the press in general. The PNH must increase its efforts to stem this phenomenon,” Henry tweeted in French.
Only recently, Henry fled the northern city of Gonaïves after a shootout between his security guards and an armed group that had warned him not to set foot in the city.