Riots in Haiti as cholera death toll rises

Riots on Monday in Haiti demonstrated the country’s discontent as the cholera death count rose above 1,000.

The disease also surfaced in the neighboring Dominican Republic this week for the first time since the outbreak, according to

There were thousands of protesters rioting in the streets of the northern city of Cap-Haitien on Monday, which led to a fire at a police station and a similar threat of torching a UN compound, reports. The rampage was broken up by tear gas and gunfire. This comes as a precursor to a heated general election that will elect a successor to Haitian President Rene Preval in less than two weeks..

There are still unproven claims circulating around the country that the outbreak of cholera stemmed from the septic tanks of a base of Nepalese peacekeepers, which may have leaked infected feces into a tributary of the Artibonite River.

The Nepalese have spoken out against what army spokesmen refer to as “false rumors”, reports. The UN force known as MINUSTAH has tested the Nepalese and found no trace of cholera thus far. Health officials have pointed out that Haiti’s cholera is a south Asian strain but that it is very common and that it is unlikely that the origin of the epidemic will ever be known.

Dominican authorities stepped up health checks to stop the disease from spreading after a 32-year-old man contracted cholera in the eastern town of Higuey. Dominican officials have banned Haitians from crossing the border to trade goods like clothes and shoes.

The planned November 28 elections in Haiti may be in doubt as a result of the cholera cases infecting each of Haiti’s 10 departments and leading aid group Doctors Without Borders, according to