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17760: radtimes: Haiti Med Students, Doctors Demonstrate (fwd)

From: radtimes <resist@best.com>

Haiti Med Students, Doctors Demonstrate


Thursday December 25, 2003
Associated Press Writer

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Medical students and doctors marched in a
protest against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide as a radio station
reported that the death toll rose to eight from a shooting at an
anti-government march earlier in the week.

The march Wednesday, part of a wave of anti-government demonstrations that
have roiled the Caribbean nation since September, comes as the government
prepares for celebrations marking Haiti's 200th anniversary of independence
from France on Jan. 1.

The nation has been in turmoil since Aristide's Lavalas Family party swept
2000 elections that some observers said were flawed.

The protest led by doctors and medical students, which began at the
University of Haiti's Medical School, drew about 2,000 people.

``I'm here because I don't agree with how Aristide is running the
country,'' said Sen. Dany Toussaint, who was elected in 2000 as a member of
the Lavalas Family and broke ranks to become an independent. ``Too much
blood, too much violence.''

Many in the crowd complained of attacks by Aristide supporters.

``How can we work with fear that patients will be beaten?'' said Dr. Gerord

Separately, Haitian officials raised the death toll from an anti-government
protest Monday in Gonaives, on Haiti's west coast. Previously, authorities
had said one person was killed, but that has since been raised to eight,
private Radio Vision 2000 reported, citing witnesses.

Police confirmed the death toll was higher but did not provide details or
say whether those killed government opponents, supporters or bystanders. A
government spokesperson could not be reached for comment.