Chaos Erupts As Senator Shoots Journalist Outside Haiti Parliament

Chaos erupted outside Haiti's parliament when a disgruntled senator opened fire on a crowd. Warning: Graphic Content

Senator Jean Marie Ralph Fethiere fired his gun during a protest near the country's parliament on Monday, injuring two, as the Caribbean country rages in response to fuel and food shortages.

Video shows the senator getting out of his vehicle and firing shots in the air after protesters approached the car. According to reports, a journalist and security guard was injured.

Photojournalist Dieu Nalio Chery holds a healing gauze next to his mouth in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Image: Reuters/Andres Martinez Casares

The AP journalist was treated and released from hospital in Haiti's capital city Port-au-Prince, after reportedly being struck by bullet fragments at the scene.

Fethiere defended his actions as self-defence, according to local media.

A dispute between Haiti and a U.S. energy-trading firm has resulted in long blackouts and fuel shortages across the country, feeding anger at President Jovenel Moise's government following the collapse of a supply deal with Venezuela last year.

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A policeman fires tear gas on demonstrators during a protest against the government outside the Haitian Parliament in Port-au-Prince, earlier this year. Image: Getty

The Western Hemisphere's poorest nation, Haiti long relied on fuel shipments from nearby OPEC member Venezuela, which offered cheap financing to several Caribbean nations to buy its gasoline, diesel and other products through a program called Petrocaribe.

But the scheme fell apart last year due to economic turmoil in Venezuela, forcing Haiti - a nation of 11 million people - to return to international markets. The result has put upward pressure on the prices of goods.