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Sitting Senator shot by police in protest against election fraud

Samuel Maxime


November 18, 2015

More than 50,000 were in the streets for a protest against election results they deem fraudulent.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti ( – Sitting Senator Steven Benoit was taken to the hospital after police opened fire on a protest against election fraud that had, beforehand, been proceeding non-violently.

Steven Benoit Jean-Charles Moise
Injuries sustained by sitting Senator Steven Benoit and former Senator Jean-Charles Moïse, who finished third in the preliminary election results.

Benoit was injured in the head by the gunfire of possibly rubber or real bullets. Witnesses say real rounds were being used. He was among more than 50,000 who protested against election results. The senator and presidential candidate was taken to the hospital.

Benoit accepted his defeat in the October 25, 2015, elections but like more than a dozen other candidates, believe the totalitarian ruling party of President Michel Martelly had engaged in massive fraud.

Horse shot by rubber bullets
Horse shot by police after being dismounted by former Senator Jean-Charles Moïse

Another candidate, a popular opposition presidential candidate, who may be the greatest victim if the fraud decried had actually occurred, is former Senator Jean-Charles Moïse. He was dismounting a horse during the protest when witnesses say police shot rubber bullets and fired tear gas at him.

The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) of Pierre Louis Opont on Tuesday rejected calls for transparency requested by candidates, human rights and election observation organizations.

Haitian-American organizations have criticized the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General, Sandra Honoré, and members of the Core Group, for encouraging the Martelly regime to take strong measures against citizens protesting against the validity of the results.

The Core Group includes the ambassadors of the United States, France, Canada, Spain, Brazil and European Union. It is led by the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti that has employed a Barack Obama – Hillary Clinton foreign policy that began by propping up a musician named Michel Martelly in 2010.

With the Core Group’s support, Haiti’s young democracy went from one of more than 5,000 elected officials nationwide in 2010 to a totalitarian regime ruled and dictated by one in 2015.

Police Chief Godson Orelus wears pink
Godson Orelus, Director General of Haitian National Police wears pink to show membership in the Haitian Tet Kale Party

*Note: Rubber bullets are meant to not cause serious injury, much less, be lethal but may cause bone fractures, injuries to internal organs or death. In a study of injuries in 90 patients injured by rubber bullets, one died, 17 suffered permanent disabilities or deformities and 41 requred hospital treatment after being fired upon. Wikipedia



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About The Author

Samuel Maxime is a Haitian-born citizen living in the United States. He founded The Haiti Sentinel to bring Haitian issues to an English language audience.