LA VISITE NATIONAL PARK, Haiti — The police officers and other officials showed up in the mountain clearing on a cool morning armed with shotguns, pistols, sledgehammers and orders for hundreds of squatters to vacate the homes and farms they had carved out of one of Haiti's few national parks.
The people living there had known they could be removed at any time because they were on a rare piece of protected woodland in one of the most deforested countries on earth. But they were resolved to put up a fight. In a violent clash that lasted several hours, four squatters were shot to death.
Exactly what happened on July 23 is still in dispute, but the episode points to the difficulties facing President Michel Martelly as he tries to bring law and order to a chaotic country still recovering from a devastating 2010 earthquake and successive hurricanes and storms.
Martelly has made protecting the country's long-neglected natural environment one of his top four priorities.
- Georgia girl struck by plane on Florida beach...
- The Great War: 100 photos marking 100 years...
- Trial begins for Salt Lake attorney seeking...
- Ground Zero cross can stay at 9/11 museum,...
- NCAA settles head injury suit, will change rules
- US Court: Virginia marriage is for all lovers
- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Navajo Generating Station, West's largest...
- US Court: Virginia marriage is for all... 43
- Federal land managers criticized over... 26
- Feds cap fines for not buying health... 22
- Obama maintains busy fundraising... 22
- After government topples crosses in... 19
- Fast food workers vow civil disobedience 15
- Gaza sides agree to lull but truce... 13
- Sarah Palin launches online... 10