Canada Issues Travel Advisory After Protesters Riot in Haiti

The Canadian government is warning travelers to avoid non-essential travel to Haiti due to recent civil unrest throughout the country.

Widespread violence broke out across the capital of Port-au-Prince and in the northern city of Cap-Haitien following the announcement of an increase in gas prices.

The Haitian government suspended a planned fuel hike on Saturday after originally saying the country needed to raise prices to help balance the budget

In a notice posted Saturday, the Canadian government said clashes had resulted in casualties and warned that further demonstrations could occur in the next few days.

#Haiti: several airlines have cancelled their flights to Toussaint-Louverture international airport. Contact your travel agent or tour operator to confirm your travel arrangements. 2/2

— (@TravelGoC) July 7, 2018

A journalist from The Associated Press reported seeing several hundred people on Saturday attack a Best Western Premiere hotel in Petion-Ville, one of the capital’s wealthiest neighborhoods. Guests were forced to remain inside as rocks were hurled through windows around 10 a.m. local time.

Security manned the building, but rioters shattered the main entrance before moving to another hotel.

No injuries or deaths were reported during the day’s incidents, but at least three people were killed Friday as protesters used burning tires and barricades to block major streets. At one point they attempted to set a gas station on fire but were held off by police.

The demonstrations began after the Commerce Ministry and Economic Ministry issued a joint statement announcing an increase of 38 percent to 51 percent for gasoline, diesel, and kerosene.

Government officials agreed to reduce subsidies for fuel in February as part of an assistance package with the International Monetary Fund. The agreement also included increased spending on social services and infrastructure and improved tax collection in an effort to modernize the economy of one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere.