Attacks on Haiti’s press dropped significantly, even as its streets were ravaged by violence—but journalists said the decline was attributable to widespread self-censorship. Haiti’s media continued to operate in a polarized environment, which both skewed and limited coverage of the government and street gangs.
René Préval, an agronomist who served as president of Haiti between 1996 and 2001, became the first democratically elected leader since Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in February 2004. Despite Préval’s appeals for peace, scores of people were kidnapped at gunpoint on the streets of Port-au-Prince. More than 100 abductions were reported in the first six months of the year alone, The Miami Herald reported.