Responses to Information Requests

​​​​​​​Responses to Information Requests (RIRs) are research reports on country conditions. They are requested by IRB decision-makers.

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Responses to Information Requests (RIRs) cite publicly accessible information available at the time of publication and within time constraints. A list of references and additional sources consulted are included in each RIR. Sources cited are considered the most current information available as of the date of the RIR.            

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30 June 2010


Haiti: Whether demonstrations for Jean-Bertrand Aristide's return took place in Aquin or in Port-au-Prince on 23 April 2008
Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

Information on demonstrations for Jean-Bertrand Aristide's return in Aquin or in Port-au-Prince on 23 April 2008 could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

According to some sources, however, there were demonstrations, which occasionally turned violent, against the rise in food prices in several Haitian cities in April 2008 (Caribbean Net News 24 Apr. 2008; Haïti Observateur 16-24 Apr. 2008; AP 13 Apr. 2008), including in Port-au-Prince (AP 13 Apr. 2008; AlterPresse 7 Apr. 2008; Caribbean Net News 24 Apr. 2008) and in Aquin (Caribbean Net News 24 Apr. 2008; Haïti Observateur 16-24 Apr. 2008). The political turmoil surrounding the demonstrations led to the resignation of Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis on 12 April 2008 (Caribbean Net News 24 Apr. 2008; EIU 21 Apr. 2008; AP 13 Apr. 2008).

Some sources indicate that Aristide's supporters helped organize these demonstrations, or took advantage of them (EIU 21 Apr. 2008; Haïti Observateur 16-23 Apr. 2008; AlterPresse 7 Apr. 2008). The Associated Press (AP) also reports that during several demonstrations in Port-au-Prince in April, participants demanded Aristide's return (AP 26 Apr. 2008; ibid. 13 Apr. 2008; ibid. 11 Apr. 2008). In particular, hundreds of people participated in a peaceful march in the streets of Port-au-Prince on 26 April 2008, to show their support for Aristide's return (AP 26 Apr. 2008).

Prior to the events described above, a pro-Aristide demonstration was also held in Port-au-Prince on 29 February 2008 ( 9 Mar. 2008; AP 29 Feb. 2008), commemorating the fourth anniversary of Aristide's removal ( 9 Mar. 2008). According to the sources, an estimated 5,000 (AP 29 Feb. 2008) or 10,000 people participated ( 9 Mar. 2008).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


AlterPresse. 7 April 2008. "Haïti/Vie Chère : 1 mort et 4 blessés par balles dans des protestations tendant à se généraliser." <> [Accessed 28 June 2010]

Associated Press (AP). 26 April 2008. "Haitian Protesters Demand Aristide's Return, Commemorate 1986 Killings." (Factiva)

_____. 13 April 2008. "Violence Flares in Haiti After PM Ouster, Rice Subsidy." (Dow Jones/Factiva)

_____. 11 April 2008. Jonathan M. Katz. "Protesters Retreat in Haiti - for Now." (Factiva)

_____. 29 February 2008. Jonathan M. Katz. "Thousands March in Haiti on Anniversary of Aristide's Departure." (SignOn San Diego) <> [Accessed 28 June 2010]

Caribbean Net News. 24 April 2008. Nazaire St. Fort and Jeb Sprague. "Anti-Hunger Protests in Haiti." <> [Accessed 28 June 2010]

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). 21 April 2008. "Haiti: On a Knife's Edge." (Business Latin America/Factiva) 9 March 2008. "Lavalas Movement in Haiti Will Not Quit." <> [Accessed 28 June 2010]

Haïti Observateur [New York]. 16-24 April 2008. "Les manifestations contre la faim portent les empreintes de Lavalas." (Bnet) <> [Accessed 29 June 2010]

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), HaitiAnalysis, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Inter Press Service (IPS), Le Matin [Port-au-Prince], Le Nouvelliste [Port-au-Prince], Réseau national de défense des droits humains (RNDDH),United Nations Information Service (UNIS).