Haitians Protest as Food Prices Soar

Capital shuts down as mob tries to storm presidential palace
By Eleanor Villforth,  Newser User
Posted Apr 9, 2008 12:46 PM CDT
A demonstrator smashes the windows of an airline office in Port-au-Prince, Tuesday, April, 8, 2008.    (AP Photo/Jack Tierney)
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(Newser) – Hungry Haitians attacked the presidential palace yesterday, demanding the resignation of President Rene Preval over soaring food prices, Reuters reports. UN peacekeepers fired rubber bullets and tear gas to control the angry mob; a week of protests has killed five people and paralyzed the impoverished capital. “If we are not killed by bullets we'll die of hunger," said one protester.

In response to the unrest, Preval’s government—whose 2006 election brought a measure of calm after decades of political upheaval—announced a multi-million dollar package of economic investments aimed at lowering the cost of living. The UN Security Council called for emergency aid for the Americas' poorest country, where 80% of citizens live on less than $2 a day.