U.N. officials are calling on Haitian authorities to conduct a “swift investigation” into the death of a Chilean peacekeeper who died of injuries from a gunshot wound Monday in the northeast region of Haiti.
Rodrigo Andrés Sanhueza Soto was on his way to administrative duty when his vehicle came under fire in the northeast city of Ouanaminthe near the Haiti-Dominican Republic border. He is a second sergeant serving in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti known by its French acronym, MINUSTAH.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his sincere condolences to the family of the peacekeeper as well as to the government and the people of Chile.
“The Secretary-General calls for a swift investigation and urges the Haitian authorities to do everything possible to bring those responsible to justice,” the U.N. said in a statement.
The incident was also condemned by the members of the Security Council. Members said they too look forward “to the completion of a full and comprehensive investigation to determine the facts and circumstances of the incident.”
A U.N. team was dispatched to the area soon after the incident. Ban’s special representative in Haiti, Sandra Honoré, equally condemned the violence and killing, and has offered UNPOL support to Haitian authorities in order for the “perpetrator to be brought to justice without delay.”
“Armed violence is a criminal act, which not only endangers people’s security, but also the gains in peace and stability that the Haitian population has achieved so far,” Honoré said. “The mission continues to urge all Haitian stakeholders, civil society, political, religious and community leaders to continuously work against violence in all its forms.”
The violent demonstration, which was over a lack of electricity, comes as Haiti enters the electoral period. The country is scheduled to hold the first round of legislative elections for two-thirds of the Senate and the House of Deputies on Aug. 9. Legislative runoffs and local elections will be held alongside presidential elections on Oct. 25. If no one wins the presidency outright, a runoff will be held Dec. 27.
Last week, registration opened for legislative candidates. Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) has approved 166 political parties and platforms to participate in the balloting.