First Observations on Port-au-Prince Streets

First Observations on Port-au-Prince Streets
December 7, 2010 Christian Wisskirchen
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First observations on the streets of Port-au-Prince to election results. HSG live from Port-au-Prince 07-12-2010

Rioting started last night with the announcement that Celestin had beaten Martelly into third place. Absurd on the basis of what we and many others saw at the counts here. Even the US embassy which should know a fraudulent election when it sees one seems to think something is wrong. Still some speculation that the second round will be a three-person affair in violation of all electoral law.

We did not venture out overnight. However, did so at 7 am this morning. Walked to friends house about 30 minutes away, across lower Delmas from where we were supposed to walk to the FRAKKA office for an interview with one of the most promising new CSOs in Haiti. No problem getting there — the masses of youth just waiting, clutching their radios were friendly enough but not a vehicle anywhere – car, bike or truck. PaP without tap-taps, motos and now trucks, some even shifting rubble, is just so un-PaP its barely recognisable. Elemental rubble and rock barricades everywhere and on Delmas much more: burning tyres, overturned rubbish skips and the odd smoldering burnt-out car. Hours later, still absolutely no vehicles beyond the odd moto with a press photographer on the back — both being paid double time danger money, no doubt. However, the large groups walking to nowhere in particular and loitering in the sun were decidedly more sullen and even occasionally hostile, much of it the klarin (rough rum) talking. Very much a Martelly crowd: a kompa/rap mix, 18-30 generation nix.

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