Sunday, July 31, 2005

What Is the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network?

Pro-Aristide lawyer Marguerite Laurent has brough together a team of (silent?) attorneys who make up the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network. These attorneys condone her activities and support her extremist stance on Haiti-related issues. According to her website, they are:

Henri Alexandre, JD, CT, 1983
Mr. Alexandre is an Assistant Attorney-General with the State of Connecticut

Picard Losier, LLM, Taxation; JD, Licensed NY 1984 & PA, 1981
Mr. Losier practices in Philadelphia, PA.

Maguy Duteau, JD, NY, 1988

Bob Celestin, JD, Licensed NY 1985
Mr. Celestin is an entertainment lawyer in New York City.

Lionel Jean Baptise, JD, Licensed IL, 1991
Mr. Jean-Baptiste is the 2nd Ward Alderman for the City of Evanston, IL.

Ulrick Gaillard, JD
Mr. Gaillard is the Founder and Executive Director of the Batey Relief Alliance.

Darwin Beauvais, JD, 1993
Mr. Beauvais will join the firm of Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg & Ellers L.L.P. in Philadelphia in September. He is currently the legal council to the Majority Leader of the Philadelphia City Council.

Committee alternates are:

Kwame Raoul, JD
Mr. Raoul is an Illinois State Senator.

Marie Lynn Toussaint, JD

These distinguished attorneys have explicitly or implicitly endorsed the following positions espoused by the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network, as they appear on the Marguerite Laurent website:


Pursue the claim for the unconditional restoration of President Aristide and the Constitutional Government of Haiti. Support the calls for an investigation by CARICOM, U.N. Assembly and Congress (HR 3919) of the February 29, 2004 Coup D'etat, U.S./European Union funding of known Haitian human rights abusers and mercenaries and the kidnapping of President Jean Bertrand Aristide and his wife.


The majority of the Affranchis or "free Blacks," distinctly known today as the Neocons or Republican Blacks, are, as in olden slavery days, still used as buffers for the exploitation of the Haitian masses, continuing their historic, if nefarious and morally repugnant role and work, by supporting U.S./Euro repressive economic and geopolitical interests in Haiti. White as opposed to Ayisyen cultural standards, mostly imitating right wing white society, and working, for example, as Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Reginald Dumas, Kofi Annan, Gerald Latorture and Andre Apaid, Jr. and the like, as vociferous international adherents of neo-liberalism, lawlessness in Haiti and against the one-person-one-vote-principle and other such anti democratic views for the masses in Haiti, the Caribbean and Africa.

Another reason for the 2004 Coup Díetat is to install a regime more interested in the impoverishment disasters of neo-liberalism and globalization rather than social spending for schools, health care, roads, portable water, job development, institutionalization of the rule of law, a justice system and a Haitianist domestic economy. We shall continue the struggle against financial colonialism by speaking up against privatization; educating the populist as to the beneficiaries of the privatization of water, utilities, dumping of corporate farm subsidized goods and the right wing agenda to maintain the old status quo of having the Black masses produce, the Black buffering lighter Black minorities serve, while the white privilege internationals direct, consume and run things from behind the scenes in Haiti.

So, if you are acquainted with - or meet - any of these individuals, let them know what you think about their affiliation with the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network. Some of them, Mr. Gaillard in particular, have done admirable work on behalf of Haitians. But they should also know that their membership in the HLLN attests to their support of a bankrupt, divisive and outdated ideology that has no place in the 21st century. By continuing to lend their name to this organization, they are effectively saying that they are the moral supporters of criminal gangs that Marguerite Laurent and the pro-Aristide lobby in the US and Canada are trying to whitewash and that they support a former president who engaged in the most egregious pattern of corruption and embezzlement ever recorded in Haitian history.

Corruption at AAN; How Greedy Can You Get?

Minister Fritz Adrien (2nd from right), next to Latortue (extreme right)

Ing. Lionel Isaac, Director General of AAN

While we are still poring over details of the incredible corruption that took place under the Aristide administration, we would do well to pay very close attention to the wrongdoings that are occurring under the Alexandre-Latortue regime.

The "new" Minister of Public Works, Transportation and Telecom -Mr. Fritz Adrien - has decided to make up for lost time by having his Board compensation from AAN (the Airport Authority, which he oversees) increased from US$2,000 to US$4,000 per month. Yes folks! You read right! On top of his salary and numerous perks as Minister of TPTC, he is now getting cold hard cash that far exceeds the average salary of his peers.

What could warrant such a generous stipend?

Is it the fact that the Director General of AAN, Mr. Lionel Isaac, is a stand-in for the former director, Adler Edma, and that the two of them want to continue controlling the juicy side benefits of the no-bid contracts that were awarded to cronies of Aristide (for example runway lighting equipment bought by Erickson Trouillot, brother of Mildred Trouillot Aristide and Richard Flambert, son of former Minister of Social Affairs Mathilde Flambert, on a no-bid basis and with a 200% markup to the original cost)?

Is it a way to get Adrien to shut up on all the wrongdoings that Edma perpetrated - and Isaac continued - at the helm of AAN?

What type of contribution does Adrien give to AAN to warrant such an exorbitant stipend, other than sitting in at periodic board meetings?

Whatever the case, and even if the stipend is legal, the amount is SCANDALOUS and should be denounced!!!!!!!!

The government MUST print in the newspapers the salaries and stipends of all the Ministers, Secretaires of State, Directeurs Généraux, Board members and top management of the state-owned enterprises and autonomous agencies (CAMEP, TELECO, AAN, OFNAC, APN, ONA, OFTMA, SMCRS, SNEP, etc.)

Stupid me! I must be delusionnal!!! The Alexandre-Latortue administration - these kleptocrats - have no desire to change the status quo. Why should they? They are benefiting from the corrupt sytem put in place by Aristide and want to make as much $$$ as possible before their term ends in 2006. Disgusting!

If you know Paul Denis, please pass this on and let him know that he needs to investigate the current administration as well before his resignation takes effect.

Note of Protest to Reuters

Following the incredibly biased article written by Guyler Delva - and inspired by Daniel Simidor's forceful rebuttal of this piece of yellow journalism - I have written a note of protest to Reuters. Please feel free to send the same note, or one in your own words, to let Reuters know that we will not accept that their correspondent use the Reuters platform to spread the Gospel of Aristide to the rest of the world. Remind Reuters that one of their Reuters Trust Principles states:
that Reuters shall supply unbiased and reliable news services to newspapers, news agencies, broadcasters and other media subscribers and to businesses, governments, institutions, individuals and others with whom Reuters has or may have contracts;
The full text of my protest note is as follows:

I wish to draw your attention to the number of biased and erroneous "facts" that your Haiti corrrespondent, Guyler C. Delva, presented in his article entitled "As Vote Nears, Role of Top Party Is in Doubt".

The inaccuracies, some of which are significant, are as follows:

1. There is no reliable information today that Lavalas is the top party in Haiti;

2. It is completely false that the Lavalas party has been in existence for 20 years; it was createdabout 10 years ago after splitting from the OPL party.

3. The Lavalas party was in no way the driving force behind the departure of former president Duvalier, contrary to the suggestion of your correspondent.

As a Haitian, Mr. Delva should know better than to include such falsehoods in his article. And it is simply inexcusable that Reuters editors did not catch such patently false statements that could easily be verified independently.

The fact that Reuters published this biased article clearly violates one of the key Reuters Trust Principles, namely:

that Reuters shall supply unbiased and reliable news services to newspapers, news agencies, broadcasters and other media subscribers and to businesses, governments, institutions, individuals and others with whom Reuters has or may have contracts;

The article written by Delva smacks of revisionism and should be withdrawn or be corrected.

Yours faithfully,

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Guyler C. Delva Unmasked

I received the following from a friend of mine. It is a precise and devastating rebuttal of Guyler C. Delva's misleading article in today's NY Times. Remember that Reuters has managed to hire Delva as its correspondent in Haiti: shameful!

The rebuttal was written by Daniel Simidor. Enjoy!

Joseph Guyler Delva’s latest Reuters report on Haiti,
published in Friday’s NYTimes, is one hell of a promo
piece for Lavalas Family - "the largest political
party...of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and
the poor masses."

Next Delva, whose allegiance to Aristide is pretty up
front, boldly refers to Lavalas as "the party that has
dominated politics for 20 years" - when that party did
not even exist 20 year ago! Indeed the Lavalas
concept only emerged in 1987, in a defiant song of the
Tèt Ansanm (Heads Together) peasant choir, "Nou se
Lavalas / N ap pote y’ale" (We are the flood / we’ll
drag them out), following a massacre of peasant
activists in July that year. Aristide, who took part
in a fiery memorial for the victims of the massacre
later that year, would drop the first two lines of the
chorus, "Yo pare pou nou / Ann pare pou yo" (They
[i.e. the class enemy] are prepared against us / Let’s
prepare ourselves against them), only to borrow the
Lavalas mantra as his campaign slogan three years
later. His run for the presidency in the 1990
elections had been under the auspices of the
center-left coalition FNCD. Lavalas Family as a
political party only goes back a decade ago.

Half way down in his article, Delva again tried to
bamboozle his readers. "Aristide, whose movement
forced Jean Claude ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier from power in
1986...," he wrote. Neither Aristide nor "his
movement" played any such role. The epicenter of the
upheaval that led to the demise of the Duvalier
dynasty was in Gonaives, not in Port-au-Prince where
the regime was at its strongest. Aristide played a
minimal role, if any, in Baby Doc’s downfall. Delva
knows this too well. But that knowledge doesn’t stop
him and his fellow Lavalas propagandists, intent on
rewriting Haiti’s recent history to satisfy their
leader’s hegemonic and megalomaniac ambitions.

Delva quite cleverly manages to write about the
hardline "Aristide or Death" wing of Lavalas, without
any mention of that faction’s year-long campaign of
bloodletting violence and lawlessness. He
successfully manipulates Amnesty International’s
latest report on Haiti to make it seem as if Amnesty’s
condemnation of "deliberate and arbitrary killings of
civilians, rape, death threats and intimidation" were
only directed at the interim government. In the
process, Delva managed to publish a priceless
pro-Aristide piece without any negative subtext, the
same week that two devastating administrative reports
issued in Haiti and on the internet were laying bare
the shocking details of rampant and systematic
corruption involving both Aristide’s Foundation for
Democracy and the highest levels of his
administration, throughout the duration of his second
term in office. "Nice work if you can get it." But
that will not stop the Aristide propagandists from
whining that their boss is getting a bad rap in the
mainstream media!

The reports in question are available in plain text at And now I’m waiting for the
Lavalas fellow travelers who tried to discredit
earlier reports of the regime’s corruption with their
bad faith cries for "proofs," when such reports
mattered most, to publicly make their "mea culpa" - if
they are not utterly shameless hypocrites. But I will
not be holding my breath...

How pro-Aristide factions are supporting former OP criminal Paul Raymond

Paul Raymond: "activist" or Aristide goon?

On July 25, 2005, a surprising unsigned post appeared on, a pro-Aristide website. Entitled "Haiti: Pro-democracy activists deported from the Dominican Republic", the piece decries the lawful extradition of Paul Raymond to Haiti. It paints Raymond, a well-known Aristide supporter as an exemplary, peaceful community activist, to wit: "... a prominent Haitian grassroots leader and tireless defender of Haiti's poor ...", "... a founding member and coordinator of Haiti's base community church, Ti Kominote Legliz (TKL) ...", "... a well-known proponent of liberation theology and an activist in the popular movement calling for the return of President Aristide and constitutional democracy ..."

Mr. Raymond may well have been a member of the base community church, and we may accept that he had at one time been a proponent of liberation theology. But his deeds and pronouncements while Aristide was in a power certainly belie any notion that Mr. Raymond had stayed faithful to his original beliefs. It is surprising that, with his long record of incendiary, hateful and downright murderous language, coupled with an untold number of violent and illegal acts, that would even call for the release of this criminal.

One of the controversial aspects of liberation theology is that one of its strands does teach violence as a means to break free of "oppression". Indeed, certain liberation theologians "will in some cases regard a particular action (e.g., killing) as sin if it is committed by an oppressor, but not if it is committed by the oppressed in the struggle to remove inequities. The removal of inequities is believed to result in the removal of the occasion of sin [i.e., the oppressor] as well." ( Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983), 592 ) We need to question, however, whether any of Paul Raymond's violent acts fit within the "acceptable" context of violence preached by some liberation theologians. A more general question is, to what extent is liberation theology not just a means to achieve "revenge" rather than an attempt to establish a more balanced society? Did Aristide mean to right the wrongs of exclusion and oppression, or did he use liberation theology simply to elevate himself and his cronies to power?

Perhaps we should take a stroll down memory lane and revisit Paul Raymond's activities.

February 21, 2001
Haiti Torn by Hope and Hatred As Aristide Returns to Power
Washington Post Foreign Service | Friday, February 2, 2001; Page A01

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- The death threat came in a chilling Creole expression. Unless the opposition to President-elect Jean-Bertrand Aristide backed off, righteous crowds would kill 80 of Haiti's establishment politicians, journalists and clerics, turning their "blood to ink, their skin to parchment and their skulls to inkwells."

Twenty Haitian reporters were summoned to hear the warning read out on Jan. 9 at St. Jean Bosco, a burned-out church whose shell remains a monument to Aristide's days there as a liberation theology priest. Paul Raymond, a militant in the slum's "Little Church Community," named the opposition figures one by one, as several dozen activists affiliated with Aristide's Lavalas political movement shouted, "Long Live Aristide! Long Live Aristide!"

Realizing the significance of what they had just heard, the reporters rushed back to their radio and television stations. By nightfall, Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, was buzzing with the news. Opposition politicians demanded Raymond's arrest. Foreign embassies and the papal nuncio issued condemnations. People waited for Aristide to emerge from his luxurious home to disavow the threat made in his name. But they waited in vain.

October 18, 2001
Letter from NCHR to Jean-Marie Cherestal, Prime Minister


3. The Refusal to Execute Certain Warrants

Several individuals close to the ruling powers are the objects of judicial proceedings. One can name, among others, the case of Richard (Chacha) SALOMON, René CIVIL of "Jan l Pase l Pase" (JPP), Paul RAYMOND of Ti Kominite Legliz (TKL) of St. Jean Bosco, and Ronald CAMILLE, known as Ronald CADAVRE, currently the new "Bos Pent" .

These individuals are being "actively sought-after" by the police for the investigation surrounding the assassination of the director of Radio Haiti Inter, Jean Léopold DOMINIQUE and the station's guard Jean Claude LOUISSANT, and for the murder of Fritzner JEAN aka Bobo. Nevertheless, these men circulate without worry throughout the capital and make public appearances in areas patrolled by police officers.

The police have given all the pretexts for not executing these warrants. In the past, did Haitians not witness the actions of a general in the Army, soliciting the intervention of the Court of Cassation regarding a warrant, in order to justify the Army's refusal to arrest Dr. Roger LAFONTANT ? What has changed? Are we in the presence of a new Roger LAFONTANT? A new version of the Haitian Army that now uses a different name? Is the National Police - like the army - an institution that consumes nearly eighty percent (80%) of the budget for the Ministry of Justice, nothing more than an auxiliary of the public powers?

These are just some of the dark areas on which the CSPN must shed some light. The Haitian population needs to know; it has the right to know.


October 30, 2001
Letter from the Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations (POPDH)

The Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations (POHDH) brings to the attention of the national and international community the existence of a list of fifteen human rights workers threatened with assassination, including: Pierre ESPERANCE, Treasurer (POHDH) and Executive Director (National Commission on Human Rights/NCHR), Viles ALIZAR, Program Director, NCHR; Serge BORDENAVE, Secretary General of POHDH; Jean Simon SAINT HUBERT, Executive Secretary of POHDH. This threat is RELATED to denunciations made by the Platform and the NCHR related to political influence on the National Police of Haiti, and to the ongoing grave violations of human rights in Haiti.

The POHDH takes this threat very seriously. In March 1999, POHDH treasurer, Pierre ESPERANCE, was the subject of an assassination attempt that had been previously announced in leaflets thrown in the courtyard of the institution.

The POHDH recalls that for some time now, leaders of Haitian Human Rights Organizations have been the objects of threats for their criticism of President Jean Bertrand Aristide's executive order calling for "Zero Tolerance" of lawlessness. Paul RAYMOND and Rene CIVIL, two individuals close to the centers of power of the President's Lavalas movement, have demanded that the movement apply the rule of zero tolerance to defenders of human rights.

The POHDH denounces this situation, which brings back memories of the DUVALIERS and their military governments. The POHDH reminds the authorities that the Haitian people were not responsible for the military coup of the 16th of December 1990 and resisted that coup d'Etat and the surge in political assassinations based on a belief in real democracy and scrupulous respect for human rights. The assassination of defenders of human rights is not the solution to the multiple problems which are facing the country, but a simple attempt to destroy the thermometer which indicates the degree of human rights violations in the country.

Faced with these circumstances, the POHDH demands that the government apply the Declaration of Paris, which compels it to assure protection for defenders of human rights.

Secretary General
July 1, 2002
OAS Report on the December 17, 2001 Events


M. Joseph Guyler Delva déclina devant la Commission les détails des menaces qu’il avait reçues. Il indiqua spécifiquement les menaces de mort que lui avaient faites les dirigeants des Organisations Populaires qui s’identifient avec Fanmi Lavalas. Par exemple, M. René Civil l’a accusé publiquement de travailler dans l’intérêt des «colons blancs». Le 11 janvier 2002, il dût quitter précipitamment l’Hôtel Plaza à Port-au-Prince où il prononçait une conférence sur «La liberté de la presse en Haïti» en compagnie de M. Robert Ménard de «Journalistes sans frontières». Tous les deux furent contraints de s’enfuir car M. René Civil et M. Paul Raymond, accompagnés des membres de leurs groupes manifestaient devant l’hôtel et y pénétrèrent pour les attaquer. Les dirigeants des Organisations Populaires susmentionnées soutenaient que ce genre de conférences discréditait le Gouvernement. M. Delva informa que Paul Raymond l’avait accusé d’être un agent de M. Ménard, et que lui et M. Ménard avaient distribué des armes à travers le pays pour déstabiliser le Gouvernement. Toutes ces accusations n’avaient pour objectif que de justifier le traitement qu’ils voulaient lui réserver.

December 2, 2002
The Raboteau revolt: Aristide's Machine
By Clara James

The UN’s independent human rights expert for Haiti, French lawyer Louis Joinet, visited Haiti in September and was shocked at what he found: "quasi-public armed leaders" of structured paramilitary gangs operating with "impunity."

The gang leaders - some call them "crowd brokers"- are paid "zombi" checks from state businesses like the telephone company or work at the National Palace as "aides." When warm bodies are needed, money is distributed in a pattern now so well-known that street thugs do not hesitate to show a well-placed journalist their checks. The prime minister [note: Yvon Neptune] even made a reference to it after two well-known brokers - with very close ties to Aristide - took to the airwaves in September to announce a "movement" to force him from office. His predecessor exited in much the same way only a few months earlier.

"Yvon Neptune must go," raged Paul Raymond into journalists’ microphones. "We brought down Cherestal and we’ll do the same with Neptune." Raymond, once a member of a "ti kominote legliz" (church-based community group) at Aristide’s former parish, St. Jean Bosco, then read off a list of officials he called "grabbers" and "thieves" and was answered with the crowd of men, his "popular organization," shouting "Tie them up." For a few weeks, the capital saw demonstrations and press conferences, all accompanied by the same crowd, but suddenly they ended. Obviously, Raymond’s handler had decided the demos were not working or had achieved their purpose at some unknown, back-room politics level.

February 15, 2004
Aristide Fait Distribuer des Armes de Guerre

De source confidentielle et digne de foi, le gouvernement de JBA a reçu dimanche soir une cargaison d'armes venant des Bahamas. Cependant les armes ont été compilées (sic) dans plusieurs autres pays de la région.

Une partie de cette cargaison d'armes est distribuée à des milliers de chimères à l'aube du lundi 9 février à l'APN (Autorité Portuaire Nationale). La distribution s'est poursuivie dans la matinée du lundi jusqu'à 10 heures a.m.

Lundi soir (11 heures p.m) la distribution a repris par le biais de René Civil, Paul Raymond, Théobald Pierre Paul, La Bannière et Fòs (ainsi connu).

Il s'agit d'armes de calibre de guerre destinée à faire échec à toute nouvelle insurrection dans le pays.

February 21, 2004
As Police Flee, Rebels Tighten Grip in Haiti's Heartland
By Tony Smith, the New York Times

In the face of rebel advances this week, Paul Raymond, a top chimère leader, threatened to bring back necklacing - the execution of political opponents by placing a burning tire around their necks, and which has not been seen here in several years.


I decided not to comment on the above quotes. They speak for themselves, especially the one immediately above. I wonder whether the proponents of liberation theology ever thought of necklacing as a suitable means of threatening their enemies, especially in the absence of evidence of oppression.

We can conclude that the folks at are either 1) completely unaware of the true nature of Paul Raymond or 2) that they condone the illegal acts that this individual committed while he was one of Aristide's henchmen. At any rate, to claim that Paul Raymond was a man of the church, a man of peace could not be further from the truth. And here again we have exposed the duplicity and hypocrisy of the US-based pro-Aristide movement. What a shame!

Friday, July 29, 2005

A Short List of Aristide's Wrondoings

I found the following on the Web while doing some research for an upcoming post. It is a wonderful review - written in 2002 apparently - of the many things that went wrong during Aristide III; little did anyone know that the worst was yet to come. The author was quite prescient in what would ultimately happen if Lavalas continued in its criminal ways.

I submit this to your appreciation ... pour l'histoire:
The idea that Aristide would be overthrown is a repulsive one - especially as Haiti strives to become a democracy - and Ms. Kathy Grey is absolutely correct in attacking anyone who would condone such an outcome to the current crisis. The opposition parties had their chances to rally popular support before the elections, and they blew it. So they will have to suck it up until the next elections.

However, let's review the accomplishments of the Aritisde administration - in no particular order - since February 2001:

1) allowing Amiot Metayer to escape and operate freely in Gonaives - illegal

2) never arresting Paul Raymond and Rene Civil when an arrest warrant had been issued against them - illegal

3) naming Patrick Joseph, the son of the Chairman of the Central Bank, Venel Joseph, as the DG of Teleco - unethical (remember that, technically, the Central Bank owns Teleco)

4) intervening to take away the autonomy of the State University system - probably illegal. Going back on the government decisions to placate the university students is testimony to the stupidity and futility of the initial attempt. By agreeing to be yet another human Kleenex used by Aristide, Myrtho Saurel Celestin paid the price. At least, she is now free to go enjoy "les lumières de Paris" with her husband, newly named ambassador of Haiti to France

5) not releasing prisoners who have been cleared by the justice system - illegal. Don't think that Prosper Avril is the only one in that situation

6) using Central Bank reserves to post collateral on transactions that benefit mainly private foreign companies - illegal

7) allowing Teleco to be gutted by private deals which do not benefit its owners (and ultimately the Haitian people) - illegal and unethical

8) using public funds to pay the opposition parties that were attacked on December 17 - illegal. The Lavalas Party, not the government, should have paid the damages

9) using government vehicles to transport the "chimè" who paralyzed Port-au-Prince on November 22 - illegal. The same thing happened on December 17, 2001

10) asking several administrations to contribute 100,000+ gourdes on a monthly basis to a "special slush fund" set up at the Palace for political activities - illegal and unethical

11) financing OP activities from the budget of the Ministère de l'Intérieur (with Jocelerme privert directly participating in strategy meetings on organized protests, down to the number of tires needed to set up burning barricades in Port-au-Prince) - illegal

12) "bribing" judges by offering them automobiles and other perks - illegal and unethical. A clear case of the Executive trying to influence the Judiciary

13) naming a well-known criminal as Minister of Justice - definitely immoral and irresponsible. 1) Calixte Delatour assassinated senator Hudicourt in cold blood under the Dumarsais Estimé régime and was never tried for that crime. He, Victor Nevers-Constant and Seliman Lassègue also murdered young Viau and got away with this crime. 2) He then became one of Duvalier's strategists and is the moral author of several political assassinations during the Duvalier era. 3) Calixte Delatour was very vocal during the coup years in his opposition to Aristide's return. That Yvon Neptune would describe him as a "man of integrity" is simply unconscionable. That appointment is an extraordinary slap in the face of all Haitians who fought to get rid of Duvalier

14a) allowing a number of senators and congressmen to set up an unregistered cooperative (the famous Tout Pou Nou cooperative) - illegal

14b) allowing said cooperative to sell staples at below market rates thanks to duty exemptions and waiver of all sales taxes - unethical and illegal

14c) allowing said cooperative to further harm local rice producers through unfair competition - definitely unethical and immoral

15) paying millions of dollars a year to an American security firm - the Steele Foundation - with deep ties to the Pentagon and the CIA for the security of the President and his family - deeply immoral and incredibly ironic. Where is the Aristide who used to greet the Haitian people "charlemagneperaltement"? He is now hiding behind a group of battle-hardened "blans" who have been involved in a bunch of undercover, off-the-books operations for American intelligence agencies around the world. (You can hear some of their stories if you hang out long enough at
Le Petit Saint-Pierre restaurant in Pétion-Ville.) In the meantime, 1) Aristide's Haitian security officers are frustrated about the incredibly unfair double-standard (especially since their daily allocations have been cut in a new wave of austerity, and they are no longer given the same amount of ammunitions), 2) thousands of government employees have not been paid for several months; 3) the average Haitian is eating less than before, and cases of malnutrition are on the rise. George Orwell was right: some animals are more equal than others.

16a) allowing and encouraging the unchecked growth of flimsy, fly-by-night finance cooperatives which were not regulated - irresponsible

16b) allowing said cooperatives to collapse in the manner they did, taking with them in their collapse millions of gourdes belonging to primarily blue-collar and poor Haitian families and making the managers of these cooperatives millionaires in the process - immoral and irresponsible

16c) promising to reimburse those who lost money in the cooperatives collapse - irresponsible and foolish

16d) failing to abide by the promise to reimburse the sociétaires - irresponsible and dishonest

16e) jailing Rosemond Jean for fighting for the rights of the sociétaires - immoral and criminal. The official reason for Rosemond Jean's arrest is too laughable to be taken seriously. Rosemong became a serious threat the day he adopted the cause of university students

17) granting a Dominican company a concession for a free-trade zone BEFORE the law regulating such zones was even passed and WITHOUT the approval of the Senate - illegal. When one reviews the actual agreement that was signed by Capellan & Company, on the one hand, and the Haitian government in the person of Faubert Gustave, on the other hand, it is EXTRAORDINARILY illegal. A number of simple legal precepts were brazenly ignored, and many of the "entorses à la loi" are now coming back to haunt the Dominican company. Has anyone heard much about this project lately? I wonder why

18a) Using public funds to buy weapons for the OP's - immoral and illegal

18b) Using the Police Nationale d'Haiti, in the person of DDO Chief Hermione Leonard, 1) to distribute the weapons to a bunch of OPs and criminal organizations in Site Soley , 2) to ply these OPs with fresh ammunitions on a regular basis, and 3) to provide them with money and occasional logistical support before "big operations" - downright criminal

19) allowing the Board of Directors of the Central Bank to grant themselves a 15% salary increase last week - immoral. At a time when the government has no funds and things are extremely tight, austerity should be "de rigueur". But then again, this is the same Central Bank that paid for one of its board members (Gladys Péan), to go on a two-week crash course to learn English, all expenses paid plus a $1,000 a day per diem, a couple of months ago. (Actually, I shouldn't be too harsh on these clowns. The last Board actually rented cars at BRH's expense so that directors' wives could go shopping without putting kilometers on their cars. One member even charged sexy lingerie for his mistress on a BRH-issued credit card.)

20) making so many political mistakes - and violating the basic rights of so many - that a feeble, repugnant and corrupt opposition, which would not exist without foreign support, is now viewed as "decent" by an increasing number of Haitians - unbelievably stupid

The list goes on, but I will stop here. This partial list speaks for itself, even though the spin doctors from the Palace will no doubt provide us with a more positive list very soon to counter-balance the one above.

Clearly the Haitian people is screwed once again. It is caught in a nasty Catch-22: It would be unconstitutional to overthrow Aristide, yet his administration is doing everything it can to prevent democracy, accountability, legitimacy and transparency from taking hold, ideals that Haitians fought so hard to obtain.

Ms Grey: you are 100% correct in that we ought to follow the 1987 Constitution. However, it would behoove Lavalas to show the way by respecting basic legal Haitian principles, something they apparently are not able or willing to do. Can others be blamed for trying to emulate Lavalas? This is a negative spiral that can only lead to disaster.

"What is logical to the oppressor is not logical to the oppressed."

-Malcolm X

"It is never too late" by Francois Ricles Gracia

Whither the Aristide Foundation for Democracy in the US?

The Board of Directors of the Aristide Foundation for Democracy in the United States has a lot of questions to answer. They have remained remarkably silent as volumes of hard evidence show that the Haitian side of the organization was nothing more than a front for the systematic plundering of the Haitian Treasury. First, we had the April 2005 from UCREF, and now the Commission d'Enquête Administrative has released a preliminary report that is devastating for Lavalas in general, and for the Foundation in particular.

The Board members of the US Foundation must speak up and explain to the Haitian people - and also their respective constituencies - whether they had any role in the criminal activities that their Haitian colleagues engaged in.

According to the Florida Department of State, the following individuals sit on the Board of that organization:

Ms. Joanne Kehoe, Columbia, Maryland
Dr. Paul Farmer, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Ms. Mildred Trouillot, Port-au-Prince (actually South Africa for now)
Ira Kurzban, Miami, Florida
Carole Sambale-Tennaert, Wiesbaden, Germany

The Foundation's FEIN is 65-0642375, and it is headquartered at the following address:

c/o Kurzban, Kurzban, Weinger & Tetzeli P.A.
2650 SW 27th Ave
2nd floor
Miami, FL 33133

I wonder whether the US press will ever shed its liberal bias and start asking the hard questions that need to be asked in the wake of the release of these two reports.

The Emperor Has No Clothes

How Aristide & Co. plundered the Haitian Treasury; Dark clouds on the Alexandre-Latortue government

The publication this week of the preliminary findings
of the "Commission d'Enquête Administrative" (CEA),
headed by former Senator Paul Denis, has uncovered a
disturbing pattern of systematic looting of the
Treasury during the Jean-Bertrand Aristide presidency.
We can only salute what is probably a first in Haitian

a) the commission did its work in secrecy and there
were no leaks until the publication of the preliminary
b) the quality of the investigation is extremely good;
c) the report includes TRANSCRIPTS of key interviews
with a number of former high level Lavalas dignitaries
(probably a first in Haitian history)
d) the report also includes copies of correspondence,
extensive documentation of financial shenanigans, etc.

What is striking to any observer is the sheer
magnitude of the embezzlement concocted by Aristide
and his cronies and the large number of individuals
involved, starting with Aristide himself. Former
Lavalas congressmen, ministers, and a number of
Aristide relatives as well as businessmen figure on
the long list of beneficiaries and/or thieves. Coming
on the heels of the UCREF report on the embezzlement
at the Aristide Foundation for Democracy and a number
of associated shell companies, a clearer picture of
the Aristide-directed looting of public funds has

Readers can access key elements of the report (in
French) at the following websites:

The reports speak for themselves. I would like to draw
your attention to a number of intriguing points:

Cooperation of Yvon Neptune

In what is sure to be a shock for many, former Prime
Minister Yvon Neptune agreed to answer the questions
of the investigators. And what an interview that was!
We learn that:

1. Yvon Neptune had no real power as prime minister;
he was deathly afraid of Finance Minister Faubert
Gustave who was, in his words, a "super-minister" and
who called the shots on all expenses, legitimate or
illegal, that were undertaken on behalf of Aristide;

2. Neptune recognizes that Oriel Jean, Aristide's
former security chief now in custody in the US on
charges of drug smuggling, was receiving donations
routinely from the Prime Minister's office "on the
basis of his needs" (Neptune's own words.)

3. The much touted "Alpha Economique" plan of Aristide
existed in name only.

The interview reveals that Neptune was certainly not
the administrator that he was cracked up to be. We
discover an average to below-average manager of people
who had some integrity (let's call a spade a spade)
but who certainly decided to roll over and let
Aristide run roughshod over him. Quite a pitiful
interview in the end as it demonstrated that Neptune
was completely out of his league and should have
remained the good architect that he was.

While Aristide is in South Africa enjoying his
millions and managing his little guerilla warfare,
poor Neptune is left holding the bag.

Cooperation of Jean-Jacques Valentin

Another shocker! For many years, Jean-Jacques Valentin
was Aristide's man at Customs, where he oversaw a
large bureaucracy which received the majority of the
government's revenues. Valentin described very
eloquently the pattern of embezzlement and deceit that
Aristide and Faubert Gustave established to get around
administrative procedures and help their cronies
circumvent customs duties. Two of the biggest
beneficiaries of the scheme were none other than Lesly
Lavelanet, brother-in-law of Aristide, who owes
Customs over US$1 million in unpaid customs duties and
Dieuseul Tchokanté Joseph, a staples importer, who
became a front man for Lavelanet as well as other rice
importers associated to Aristide.

Finally, we must stress that the publication of this
preliminary report has ruffled many feathers within
the Alexandre-Latortue government. Paul Denis stated
that he received minimal cooperation from the National
Palace. That is not surprising at all. The current
chief of staff, Michel Brunache, has close links with
Gladys Lauture, a former "economic advisor" to
Aristide who masterminded a number of embezzlement
schemes. Brunache has actually blocked the
investigations into the practices at the Palace for
two reasons:

1. to protect Gladys Lauture, and by extension
Brunache's former boss, attorney Gary Lissade, who is
also implicated in a number of sordid schemes in the
CEA/Paul Denis report;

2. to prevent investigators from uncovering Brunache's
embezzlement scheme for the benefit of his
father-in-law, Boniface Alexandre, and his own pockets
of course. Brunache has continued the practice first
established by Aristide at the National Palace, which
call for minimal supervision and documentation (if at
all) of expenditures.

We must be vigilant. Aristide is the past, and we need
to expose him for what he was: a vulgar, blood-thirsty
criminal who used the poor of Haiti to wage his war of
hatred and enrich himself at the sam etime. But we
also need to focus on the present and start
investigating the crooked deals of the current
administration. There are a few, and they are being
perpetrated by people close to the current President
and Prime Minister.

We must also start asking the hard questions:

1. Why is Mr. Latortue's district attorney
("commissaire du gouvernment") so weak and ineffective?
2. Why are the current "managers" of the National
Palace and Teleco blocking the Paul Denis/CEA
3. When will Latortue get rid of the bad apples that
are completely spoiling his current leadership? Or is
he involved?

Haiti needs new leadership and a new beginning. The
truth will set us all free ... finally.

Jean-Claude Jasmin

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Gerard Jean-Juste and Bill Quigley Caught in a Lie; Marguerite
Laurent, Amy Goodman and John Maxwell Are Accomplices

Jacques Roche in happier times

Once again, the nefarious pro-Aristide forces are conspiring to misinform the public about the macabre role Reverend Jean-Juste and his kidnapping squads have played in these past few weeks' horrible events, including the assassination of journalist Jacques Roche. It is particularly telling that the pro-Aristide camp, caught in its plot to have Jacques Roche killed simply for having been associated to the "Groupe des 184", would then unleash a public relations campaign for the purpose of whitewashing their authorship, moral if not physical, of the Jacques Roche murder and then bizarrely associating themselves with Jacques Roche once they realized the magnitude of the gaffe their goons had committed.

In this respect, the total incompetence of the current provisional authorities explains why there has been no attempt to discredit this malicious campaign and why Rev. Jean-Juste is now able to portray himself as a victim once again for having committed the "crime" of attending his "cousin" Jacques Roche's funeral. Let us now examine the sequence of events that have led to the arrest of Jean-Juste and to the flurry of emails from
Aristide apologists trying to deflect the attention away from their involvement in Jacques Roche's murder:

July 14, 2005

The body of journalist Jacques Roche, who had been kidnapped on July 10 is found in Delmas 4. Jacques Roche had been tortured before being executed: his arms were broken, his tongue had been ripped out, and his body bore marks of extreme corporal punishment. He was killed by several gun shots in the mouth. [1] [2]
Jacques Roche was not simply a dedicated journalist; he was also a talented poet and a passionate lover of Haiti. He believed in social justice and had militated for many changes, including the unconditional
cancellation of Haiti's foreign debt and the fight against the free zone established unilaterally by Aristide in Maribahoux (North East.)

Jacques Roche's body found in Delmas 4

According to press reports, his kidnappers took issue with his role
to host a radio show about civil society, sponsored by the "Groupe des
184." This led to their decision to assassinate him despite his family
having made a partial payment of $10,000 on the ransom they had
requested. [

He had become, in the eyes of his kidnappers, an enemy of Jean-Bertrand
Aristide and of Lavalas and therefore had to be eliminated.

July 17, 2005

In one of her signature diatribes, lawyer Marguerite Laurent, a pro-Aristide apologist and his chief defender in the United States, puts in context the death of Jacques Roche and explains why it was understandable; she says in essence that the current wave of kidnappings are in retribution for the kidnapping of "democracy" when Jean-Bertrand Aristide left power. She writes:

<>The kidnappings in Haiti for political and economic purposes began with the kidnapping of Democracy by the powerful Coup d'Etat nations of the US, Canada and France, intent on imposing privatization, neoliberalism in Haiti, no matter the will of the people, the nation nor its duly elected representative. Last Thursday, July 14, 2005, Jacques Roche, a well-known cultural and sport news reporter for Le Matin, and
television host of a show on "civil society"
issues for Group of 184, who had been kidnapped on July 10, 2005, was found dead. His tortured and bullet ridden body was found still handcuffed,

Let's begin by questioning WHY Jacques Roche was killed? In sum, Roche's death is the fruit of a poison tree that must first be uprooted before justice can ring in Haiti. It's the fruit of an ongoing international crime of kidnapping democracy begun with the kidnapping of President Aristide from Haiti. As a friend wrote to me today, "The handcuffs (left on Roches body) already told us WHO did it. I can't imagine slum dwellers possessing handcuffs, and if they did, having enough to leave them on a dead body. We are dealing with really evil people." Moreover, according to an AHP news report "People close to the cultural journalist condemned his execution and declared that if they had received support from some sectors they didn't name, to complete the ransom, the victim's life would have probably been saved....One of his collaborators, Roudy Sanon, who was involved in the negotiations with the kidnappers, declared that it was his work colleagues who helped to get the 10.000 dollars given to the kidnappers. He also deplored that the Police General Direction did not help to get Jacques Roche's release, despite the fact that it had enough clues to help, he said. "This authority of the police is therefore responsible on this level of his death, Roudy Sanon said on a private radio station of the capital." [4]

In a few paragraphs, Marguerite Laurent manages to mangle the truth, turn the events of Jacques Roche's death on their head, and turn his employers into the ones responsible for his death all in one fell swoop:

Lie #1: Slum dwellers do not possess handcuffs. Marguerite Laurent chooses to ignore that a large number of Site Soley criminals were enlisted in the last two Haitian National Police classes under Aristide (at his request) and were let go after his departure because of their shameful criminal records. In addition, a number of policemen linked to Lavalas have been arrested recently for their involvement in kidnappings and murders. It is not that difficult to figure where the handcuffs might have come from. And it is possible to buy handcuffs in Haiti today from private shops. Dany Toussaint, another murderer linked to Lavalas until he split with Aristide, sold such goodies at his store recently.

Lie #2: Jacques Roche did not receive support from some sectors that might have saved him. Jacques Roche's kidnapping was not about ransom. The kidnappers went though the masquerade to make it appear as such. His political death had been pre-ordained, and no amount of money would have saved him from his certain execution. Let's remember one clear point: Jacques Roche was assassinated for having collaborated with Groupe des 184", not because his family could not come up with the ransom. The vast majority of kidnappings in Haiti has been settled for much less than $10,000. So to pretend that his employers could have saved him simply by contributing money is a lie.

Lie #3 - The Haitian Police is responsible for his death. Roudy Sanon, AHP and Marguerite Laurent should hang their heads in shame for propagating such a lie. The police explained very clearly that they had leads, but not enough information to quickly react to the murder. [5] This was confirmed when they arrested Roger Etienne, one of Jacques Roche's murderers, who explained that he was constantly being moved. Beyond the obvious lies, Marguerite Laurent's obvious message, though the words of a "friend", is that only the murderous" regime of Latortue could have killed Jacques Roche, but certainly not the "peaceful" gangs that are terrorizing the slum dwellers she was talking about. Even more ominous is the message, subsequently picked up by Gerard Jean-Juste, that the "kidnapping" of Aristide on February 29, 2004, justifies the wave of such crimes in Haiti today and that only his return will end the wave. If that is the case, then isn't it a clear acknowledgement of WHO is responsible for the kidnappings? After all, it is such a poisonous tree ... but who planted it in the first place?

July 20, 2005

In an interview on Radio Kiskeya, Rev. Jean-Juste picks up on the theme of Aristide's kidnapping as being the first instance of this crime. His message: since our leader was the victim of a kidnapping, we Lavalas certainly cannot be responsible for this type of crime. But he went on to state that the end of the violence from below depends on the end of the violence from above. [6]

What is then the violence from below that he is referring to? Isn't it the kidnappings, murders and rapes that the pro-Lavalas gangs have been perpetrating, not only on Haitian society as a whole but especially on the residents of the slums in which they have taken residence? We should be under no illusion that, despite the class warfare message that is being spread by Marguerite Laurent and Gerard Jean-Juste, the majority of the victims of violence of any sort in Haiti today are poor. And contrary to what they would have us believe, the perpetrators for the most part are the pro-Lavalas gangs that were armed and trained by Aristide and his henchmen, like Paul Raymond, René Civil, Hermione Leonard, et al from 2001 until his departure.

As a side note, what is most disingenuous from Marguerite Laurent is her systematic silence on one of the worst crimes perpetrated by gangs like that of the late Dred Wilme's: rape. The principal victims of crimes in Site Soley, Solino, Bel Air, Delmas 2, Grande Ravine, etc. are women (primarily young) and even in some cases pre-pubescent girls who are preyed upon by depraved gang members who have turned to a new form of bodily mutilation to inflict further pain on their rape victims: the incrustation of parts of plastic or metal in their penises. [7] This was the case, for example, of Dred Wilme's lieutenant Emmanuel Coriolan (aka "Dom Laj") who underwent "surgery" while in jail to have his penis augmented with bits of plastic and metal. He had it done to better torture any female kidnapping victim that his gang would seize.

July 21, 2005

Jacques Roche in his coffin

Jacques Roche's funeral is marked by moving tributes from speakers from all walks of life. But it will also be remembered for Rev. Jean-Juste's audacious attempt to officiate at the ceremony - when he can be considered as a moral author of Roche's murder - and the subsequent false statements which have revealed his talent as a pathological liar and the unethical lapses of a certain William Quigley, attorney-at-law.

Before the funeral, Jean-Juste had an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! where he stated:

So right now, today I’m on my way to attend the funeral of Jacques Roche, a prominent journalist who had been kidnapped and killed. And I'm going to show myself because his parents are from my town, and at a certain time, one of his relatives saved my life. I was being attacked by a mob, and then Mrs. Roche came out, saw me, and get me off the gangs and sheltered me at her house. So this is why I feel that I should be here regardless that they keep accusing Lavalas people of participating in the killings. [8]

What happened at the funeral? Rev. Jean-Juste and his attorney William Quigley, decided to participate at the ceremony. Notwithstanding the gall of Jean-Juste, the fact that he came dressed in full priest garb and had every intention of officiating at the ceremony can only be interpreted as an act of provocation or sheer folly or both. Soon after his arrival, Jean-Juste is set upon by a group of incenses students (not 184 people as falsely reported by Bill Quigley [9]) After a few minutes of mayhem, Jean-Juste and Quigley are led away by a group of CIVPOL officers and are then picked up by the Haitian police that take them to the Petionville precinct. Jean-Juste will later be arrested, but not Quigley.

July 22, 2005

An article written by Bill Quigley and entitled "Haitian Priest Assaulted by Mob at Funeral and Arrested for Murder " [10] is posted on Never mind the fact that Bill Quigley is not a journalist. Never mind the fact that Bill Quigley is Jean-Juste's attorney. Why this "op-ed" piece, at best, is posted as a news article is beyond me. However, what is most striking is the number of lies and innuendos that Bill Quigley manages to inject in such a short article:

  1. Jean-Juste was beaten by 184 supporters.

  2. Roche deserved to die because he worked with "the people calling
    themselves the group of 184, who overthrew by force the democratically
    elected government of President Aristide, the leader of the Lavalas
    party, in February 2004." [

  3. Jean-Juste is a cousin of Jacques Roche.

In Quigley's words:

On Thursday July 21, 2005, Fr. Gerard Jean-Juste went to St. Pierre's Catholic Church to be one of the priests participating in the funeral of Haitian journalist Jacques Roche. Fr. Jean-Juste is a cousin of the Roche family and members of the Roche family protected him from a mob earlier in his life. He went to express spiritual comfort and reconciliation to the family. [12]

Already, there is an obvious discrepancy between Jean-Juste and his attorney on the exact relationship of Jean-Juste to Jacques Roche:

a) Jean-Juste: Roche's parents are from my town (Cavaillon)

b) Quigley: Jean-Juste is a cousin of Roche.

July 23, 2005

Jacques Roche's mother grieving

On Saturday, July 23, Jacques Roche's mother breaks her silence on Radio Kiskeya to comment specifically on her so-called "relationship" to Rev. Jean-Juste [13]. She refutes any kinship to the Reverend, thereby proving that all of the comments made by Jean-Juste and Quigley were fabrications. She specifically states that:

  1. She has no relationship to Rev. Jean-Juste

  2. She has never met Jean-Juste, neither now nor when he was a

  3. While her husband was from Cavaillon, she is from Cap-haitien and
    has never set foot in Cavaillon.

  4. Therefore, she could not possibly have saved Jean-Juste from a
    mob that attacked him and then sheltered him at her house when he was a
    child, since she never lived in Cavaillon.

July 24, 2005

In his "Common Sense"column entitled "Extremism in defence of freedom ..." [14] , Jamaican journalist John Maxwell, an unabashed Aristide apologist, writes the following:

[Gerard Jean-Juste] was then arrested, charged with something that happened in Haiti while he was in Miami, released, then beaten up when he attended a funeral, re-arrested and thrown into prison, this time,
allegedly, for the murder of the journalist whose funeral he was attending.

In one cute sentence, John Maxwell has managed to take out of context the meaning and importance of Jean-Juste's presence at the funeral of Jacques Roche. More importantly, he has now conveyed to his unsuspecting readers the incredible "injustice" meted out to the good Reverend. John Maxwell, no lawyer he, conveniently forgets to explain to his readers that there is such a thing in Haitian law as "accusation par la clameur publique" [15] and that there are antecedents, given Jean-Juste's involvement with the pro-Lavalas gangs that have been organizing these deadly kidnappings. At least, Maxwell had the decency not to write about Jean-Juste's "close family relationship" to Jacques Roche. And I am sure that his skilled command of the English language (unlike mine) will carry in any discussion about what he really meant. And I am doubly sure that the coterie of Aristide friends that have formed the Dessalines-Boukman Society in Jamaica will no doubt approve of Maxwell's journalistic (mis)carriage of justice.

One of the problems with all anglophone journalists, and with Marguerite Laurent despite her Haitian ancestry and her work in Haiti, is that they still do not have a good understanding (if at all) of the differences between common law and Haitian law. It is high time they started learning something positive to better defend their heroes.

In conclusion, the habitual liars and apologists have once again unmasked themselves in protecting an individual who had no reason to attend the funeral, nor any decency to stay away from the family of the
man to whose death he contributed, directly or indirectly.

Jean-Claude Jasmin

July 24, 2005





[4] Marguerite Laurent email dated July 17, 2005 entitled
"[ezilidanto] Jacque Roche's death used by "Council of the Wise" to
criminalize & bar Lavalas from elections, Jean-Juste persecution
increases, UN Massacre continues, et al....."











- Droit positif. La clameur publique, faisant immédiatement
suite à un crime ou à un délit, fait naître
une situation d’urgence qui justifie l’ouverture d’une Enquête de
flagrance* et autorise l’Arrestation* de la personne poursuivie (art.
Garraud (Traité de l’instruction judiciaire) : La clameur
publique, c’est l’accusation jetée au public, l’appel qui lui
est fait, n’y eût-il que le blessé ou le premier
témoin survenu qui poussât le cri.

Decocq Montreuil et Buisson (Le droit de la police) : La clameur
publique est constituée d’un cri (Au voleur, p.ex.), non pas
d’une rumeur, mais il n’est pas indispensable qu’elle contienne une
accusation précise (le cri : Arrêtez-le suffit). Le
législateur voir en elle un indice suffisant d’une
présomption d’imputabilité d’une infraction flagrante.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Who are the intellectual authors of Jacques Roche's murder?

I was quite puzzled by the sadistic violence that Jacques' kidnappers used in murdering him. Why would they, after receiving a $10,000 ransom, cut out his tongue (while he was still alive), break both of his arms, torture him and then finish him off by shooting an untold number of bullets in his mouth? What type of psychopaths could possibly do this? And why?

Haitian news reports allege that his kidnappers found out about his involvement with the Groupe des 184, this amalgamation of civil society organizations which militated for Aristide's departure or a bunch of criminals intent on wiping the vast majority of Haitians, depending on your political point of view. And they made him pay for it because they viewed him automatically as an enemy of their leader, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The kidnappers' message to Jacques' family was very simply that, being affiliated with the Groupe des 184 carried grave consequences. In the case of Jacques, the outcome was all but certain: death.

But is it a crime for a journalist to be involved politically? After all, Jacques was a poet and observer of Haitian cultural affairs, as well as a commentator on Radio Ibo. He was not a bloodthirsty armed man, and even less a violent person. What then could have motivated the rage with which his kidnappers exhibited in torturing him so savagely? Was it the fact that they did not obtain the additional $40,000 from Jacques' family? Highly unlikely. Kidnappings in Haiti have been settled for much less than that.

No. The answer lies somewhere else. Broadly speaking, the intellectual authors can be grouped in two categories:

Pro-Artistide Supporters

They are the hatemongers who have decided to employ scortched-earth tactics and who dream of an uprising where any "bourgeois" or "rich person" of any social class in Haiti will be systematically murdered. Their modus operandi is quite simple:
  1. they always portray themselves as victims of a repressive regime as they are trying to defend the masses;
  2. they then use the sympathy they garner from naive foreigners who know very little about the country to pass off violent criminals as community activities (Dread Wilme is probably the best example of that);
  3. they make sure to demonize any group they suspect of being allied to their perceived enemies. In that respect, the following passage from an interview of Georges Honorat by Kevin Pina sums up the message:
The people say now, 'what's going on?' They [the MINUSTAH] want to kill them, and the elite, mainly the group, they call themselves, 184, backed by the United States and now by MINUSTAH, the United Nations, probably want to finish with the Haitian masses, so that's probably what motivates them so they will continue the fight until victory.
These hatemongers are providing the justification for the murder of anyone whom they believe participated in or supported in any way, shape or form the departure of their idol, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. To them, the end justifies the means and someone like Roche is just roadkill.

The inept UN Mission in Haiti

The UN peacekeeping force, known by its acronym MINUSTAH or better yet by its nickname TURISTAH, is the leading factor of destabilization and insecurity in Haiti today. Led by an inept Brazilian force, Minustah has managed the incredible feat of making an already fragile security situation worse by making a series of deadly blunders. General Heleno, thinking that Haiti was an extension of Brazil, decided that no security issue could be solved without attacking the socio-economic problems of Haiti. As a result, he gave criminals of all stripes free rein to engage in increasingly violent activities which could not be contained by an overwhelmed Haitian police force. MINUSTAH went so far as to providing protection to gang members who were passing off as victims of police brutality.

Port-au-Prince residents from all walks of life - but especially the poor who are being held hostage by the gangs in Cite Soley and Bel Air - are now reaping the "benefits" of Heleno's extremely erroneous reading of the Haitian political situation.

One of the untold stories of the tragedy that has befallen the women of the neighborhoods where the gangs have taken residence, has been the unreported high level of rapes of women of all ages, but especially adolescent girls by intoxicated and/or drugged up gang members. They usually buy the silence of the parents - or threaten retaliation if the rapes are reported. This represents a serious health crisis as many of these gang members are at risk of being HIV+ or of having contracted full-blown AIDS.