Haitian political leader Eric Jean Baptiste shot dead

Eric Jean Baptiste, a former presidential candidate and leader of a political party in Haiti, was killed in a shooting, a party spokesman said Saturday. The killing stunned many in a country already in crisis.

Baptiste was killed on Friday in the community of Labouille in the capital Port-au-Prince, along with his bodyguard, according to Ricardo Norden, a spokesman for his Rally of Progressive National Democrats, which was founded in 1979 by former president Leslie Manigat.

Batiste also owned one of the largest lottery companies in Haiti, Pere Eternel.

No one has been arrested.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he and others were outraged by the killing.

“The gruesome assassination of political leader Eric Jean Baptiste and his bodyguard has once again plunged the Haitian people into turmoil. We strongly condemn this heinous crime against this patriot, this moderate politician seeking change,” he tweeted.

The killing took place in an area where the Ti Makak gang, meaning “Little Macaques”, is fighting with the Toto gang for control of the area. The community is located near Pellerin, where President Jovenel Moise was assassinated at his private residence in July 2021.

In August, Yvonne Boisseret, a former senator who worked for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, was killed and his body set on fire.

In January, two journalists were also killed in Labuli and their bodies set on fire.

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