Conflicting reports on whether Wyclef Jean was shot in Haiti

A publicist for hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean said he was shot in the hand Saturday night on the eve of Haiti's tense presidential runoff election, but has since been treated and released from a local hospital.

“It was a minor graze to the hand,” said Cindy Tanenbaum, a Jean spokeswoman. No other details were available. The report was confirmed by another Jean spokesman.

But Reuters reported that Vanel Lacroix, police chief in Petionville where Jean is staying, said police had confirmed that he had suffered only a minor cut to his hand from glass in an apparent accident.

“We met with the doctor who saw him and he confirmed Wyclef was cut by glass,” Lacroix told Reuters.

The Haitian-born star has been campaigning for presidential contender Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly in a race that has already been tainted by fraud, violence and myriad irregularities.

A message on Jean's official Twitter page read: “We have spoken to Wyclef, he is ok. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.”

Jean attempted to run for president himself last year but was barred by Haiti's electoral commission, which said he was ineligible because he has been living in the United States.

Since then, he has thrown his considerable star power behind Martelly, 50, a musician-turned-politician, who is facing former first lady and university professor Mirlande Manigat, 70.

Sunday's runoff vote is viewed as a key step toward rebuilding Haiti, following the January 2010 earthquake that killed 200,000 and has left a million Haitians living in tent camps.

Some 200 international observers are on hand to monitor the vote. Preliminary results are not expected until March 31, with the full count due on April 16.

miroffn@washpost.com

Nick Miroff is a Latin America correspondent for The Post, roaming from the U.S.-Mexico borderlands to South America’s southern cone. He has been a staff writer since 2006.
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