In Haiti, journalists demand answers about missing colleague

More than 200 people marched in solidarity with missing journalist Vladjimir Legagneur in Port-au-Prince
AFP

Port-au-Prince (AFP) – More than 200 journalists and supporters marched in silence Wednesday in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince to demand answers over the disappearance two weeks ago of freelance photojournalist Vladjimir Legagneur, amid mounting fears he may have been killed.

“Where is Vladjimir?” read the banner carried by those leading the protest. 

Legagneur, 30, has not been seen since March 14, when he left his home for an assignment in Grand-Ravine, one of the poorest and roughest parts of the city that has been the scene in recent years of bloody gang wars.

Rumors he may have been assassinated have circulated in media circles and on social media, but his family and friends are still pressing the authorities for official news of his fate — and action.

“We don’t need expressions of solidarity from government ministries or officials. Society put them in office to act. We want to see action, concrete action,” said journalist Lunie Joseph, reading a statement from press associations.

“We are here to express our anger and rage in the face of the laziness and lack of interest shown by police and justice officials about the disappearance” of Legagneur, the text says.

The missing journalist’s wife, Fleurette Guerrier, has been looking for her husband since the night of March 14. After two days, she filed a report with Haitian authorities but they have yet to provide any concrete information.

National police spokesman Frantz Lerebours said Monday: “In these kinds of cases, where there have been no demands for ransom, we fear a fatal outcome.”

Press advocacy group Reporters without Borders (RSF) has expressed its concern for his fate and urged police to conduct a thorough probe.

Guerrier filed a fresh complaint with prosecutors on Wednesday, hoping for news.

“Today’s turnout showed me that people are moved, that they too want results: the authorities must give me an answer about what happened to Vladjimir,” Guerrier told AFP by phone.

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