Montreal's Haitian radio station damaged by third firebombing in four years
Published Sunday, September 18, 2016 3:29PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, September 18, 2016 6:09PM EDT
An investigation is underway into a firebombing early Sunday morning at CPAM, St-Michel’s Haitian radio station, the third such fire at the building since 2012.
No injuries were reported and police said damage to the station was minimal.
The arson squad has taken over the investigation and police said they are looking into possible motives.
“Is it someone who’s been fired and who wants to get revenge?” said SPVM spokesperson Manuel Couture. “What happened exactly and why is it a target?”
Couture said police are looking into whether the arson may have been racially motivated. If so, the investigation could transfer to the new SPVM hate crimes division.
Security footage from the scene showed an individual spraying what appears to be gasoline onto the side of the building before throwing a brick through a window, followed by what appears to be a Molotov cocktail.
“It’s the third time we have a fire at the station,” said Station Manager Jean-Ernest Pierre. “It’s terrible.”
In 2012, the building was heavily damaged in another Molotov cocktail attack. More recently, in May, a car was fire bombed in the station’s parking lot.
Pierre said he believed the 2012 attack was related to the station’s criticism of former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier’s return to that country. Of the latest attacks, he said he thinks someone could be angry at some of the controversial opinions the station has broadcast.
“I’ve lived in Quebec for 36 years and I thought we live in a democracy,” he said.
Still, Pierre insists he and his team will not be intimidated. While the station is broadcasting only music until the damage is repaired, he said listeners will soon have a return to regular programming.
“I’ll continue to voice my opinion on television, on radio, because it’s a fundamental right,” he said.