Tuesday, April 27, 2010 » 08:43pm
A large incendiary fire has ripped through the main public market in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince.
The blaze engulfed hundreds of stalls at the Marche du Port markets and two blocks of surrounding shops.
Firefighters worked to control the fire with inadequate resources as shopkeepers rushed to save their goods. The MINUSTAH troops were notable by their absence.
A market seller, Pierre Eliane told local media ‘The front of the market place is already burned down. We don’t know if the area where we kept our merchandise is also burning, because they won’t let us go near it.’
A number of merchants blamed Preval-controlled gangs saying recognized gang members were seen pouring gasoline over material to initiate the blaze. Burning of local markets is a form of political pressure used against the poor who depend on sales of food and merchandise for survival. Patrick Servius, who had his used clothing business destroyed said, “Preval is angry with us for our refusal to sell relief supplies in our places. These are for the earthquake victims, not for Preval’s profits. Now we pay for our patriotism.”
It is another blow to the country that was devastated by a massive earthquake in January which killed more than 300 000 people, leaving 1.5 millions homeless and more than 50,000 amputees..