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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Haitian community radio journalist gunned down in "no-go area" of Port-au-Prince



A Haitian radio journalist was shot to death Monday, March 5, in Cité Soleil, the poorest neighborhood of the capital, Port-au-Prince, reported Reporters Without Borders.

Jean Liphète Nelson, manager of the community and educational radio station Radio Boukman and known for his humanitarian work, was driving with four other people in a radio station vehicle when four gunmen attacked, reported Radio Kiskeya and AlterPresse. Nelson was taken to the hospital where he died of his wounds. Another passenger, Alexandre Marcus, died at the scene, and Nelson's brother, also in the car at the time, was shot in the leg, Reporters Without Borders explained.

While the motive behind the journalist's killing is unknown, Reporters Without Borders said it cannot be ruled out that Nelson, well known in the community, was killed for his work as a journalist, which may have angered local criminal gangs, according to the news agency EFE. Radio Kiskeya added that the neighborhood where the journalist was killed is notoriously dangerous and considered a "no-go area."

If the killing is found to be journalism-related, this won't be the first time community radio journalists have come under attack. In April 2011, the Haitian community radio station Tèt Ansanm Karis was destroyed by arson. No one was injured in the blaze, but the office and all the equipment were reduced to ashes, leaving the area without a local radio station.



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