Originally: Haiti: January 7 Attack on Political Demonstration

Press Statement
  Richard Boucher, Spokesman
  Washington, DC
  January 9, 2004

  Haiti: January 7 Attack on Political Demonstration

  The United States condemns the actions of the Haitian Government in
response to  the political demonstration that occurred January 7 in
Port-au-Prince. Although  it is clear some elements of the police worked diligently to protect the demonstrators, it is also clear that other police officers
collaborated with heavily-armed, hired gangs to attack the demonstrators. Throughout
the day,  these same government-sponsored gangs rampaged through the streets of
the capital, stealing cars, attacking radio stations, vandalizing
businesses, and  harassing people.

  These actions contradict the government s own declarations that it
seeks compromise and a peaceful resolution of Haiti s political crisis. A
government  that wishes to be considered democratic cannot continue to use street
gangs as an instrument of terror and intimidation. The Government of Haiti
must end  immediately its efforts to suppress peaceful dissent, must punish
those who  commit violent acts of repression, and must undertake the fundamental
reforms  necessary to restore the rule of law in Haiti, in accordance with OAS
  Resolution 822.

  The United States Government believes the crisis in Haiti must be
resolved  through peaceful means and dialogue.