News and opinions on situation in Haiti
European Union says Haiti’s electoral council FAILED |Zam elegal mesye koudeta yo te debake lan ladwan |Another Black Market Arms Shipment to Coup D’etat assassins arrives in Haiti | Initial reports of MINUSTHA intimidating Haitian populace to stop the July 15th planned demonstrations against the continued coup d’etat repressions | Should Haiti Declare ‘War on Terrorism’ Against the U.S.? Haitian Terrorist Arrested in Long Island | Remembering all the kidnapped victims, remembering Jacques Roches
Date: 14 July 2006
HLLN’s FreeHaitiMovement yearly event to remember our roots, remember Bwa Kayiman, which on August 14, 1791 started the great Haitian Revolution we still live to bring to application this day.
See, Ezili Danto’s Bwa Kayiman Dance Theatre play with master Haitian drummer, Frisner Augustin and Troupe Makandal
– Another black market arms shipment to coup d’etat assassins arrives in Haiti excerpted from a Levekampe Radio Broadcast and translated from Kreyol into English by Frantz Jerome
– MINUSTHA conducting military operations in the popular neighborhoods perhaps some say, to intimidate the people away from the July 15-planned demonstration to remember Aristide, demand the coup d’etat oppression stop and the political prisoners are releases
Ezili Danto’s note: Jacques Mathelier who has been in prison for more than two years (since June 26, 2004) allegedy for setting fire to an OPL member’s house, was released yesterday. Over 4,000 others remain in inhuman prison conditions doing “preventive detention time” without trial, with no charges or trumped-up charges as in the Jacques Mathelier case, filed against them.
– Gang killings may be political | Washington Times | July 14, 2006
– Haiti Needs Caricom
– Should Haiti Declare a ‘War on Terrorism’ Against the US
– Haitian Terrorist Arrested in Long Island
– The Provisional Electoral Council a failure, says EU observation mission, calls for the immediate establishment of a permanent electoral council
(See also HLLN’s call for investigation of the CEP and electoral fraud in the 2006 presidential and legislative elections.
– Civil servants unjustly fired take to streets of Port-au-prince to call for their reintegration and for the liberation of all political prisoners
– Day of reflection in memory of the first anniversary of the death of journalist and writer Jacques Roches; call for the deposition of complaints against authors of the massacres in popular neighbourhoods
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 11:22:54 -0400
Our Haiti report this morning mentioned ‘MINUSTHA action’ (moving in on different parts of the popular neighborhoods). What is interesting is that they did not go to the places where the massacres took place last week. They are moving on other popular neighborhoods.
Our contact wondered whether or not it was a show of force to try and intimidate the demonstrations scheduled for tomorrow. Apparently four people died in Site Soley. He did not mention who killed them.>>>
Gang killings may be political
GRAND RAVINE, Haiti — The killings began before dawn. Gunmen walked through this hillside slum warning of a fire and yelling for residents to come out of their cinder block and sheet-metal shacks. Those who followed their advice were fatally shot.
Hours later, morgue workers and United Nations’ peacekeepers piled corpses in one of the slum’s main thoroughfares, a rocky streambed at the bottom of the ravine for which this neighborhood is named. The body count totaled 21, including three women and four children. Most of the victims were killed execution-style with a single bullet to the head.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Jean Gabriel Ambrose, the Port-au-Prince justice of the peace. “What is shocking is that all of the victims appear to have been innocent.”
For several weeks, rival gangs had exchanged fire in a turf war over control of the slum. But family members, neighbors, human rights observers and police all agree the victims of last Friday’s massacre were not gang members, making U.N. and Haitian officials suspect it was a politically motivated attempt to destabilize the newly elected government led by President Rene Preval.
“I don’t believe it was a spontaneous attack,” said Desmond Molloy, who heads the U.N. peacekeeping mission’s disarmament program in Haiti. “This massacre creates an atmosphere of fear, and when people are afraid, it’s very hard to establish any degree of stability.”
The killings in Grand Ravine shattered five months of relative peace since Mr. Preval’s February electoral victory. The election marked the first sign of improvement after two years of crisis and violence after the departure of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide into exile in February 2004.
In Grand Ravine and the neighboring slum of Martissant, opposing gangs made peace during a March 19 soccer match sponsored by the United Nations, and they handed authorities a grenade and a firearm in a symbolic gesture. But the truce did not last long.
“In recent weeks, we’d been aware of a heightening of tensions among the gangs in this area along political and territorial lines,” Mr. Molloy said.
On one side was a gang based in Grand Ravine associated with Mr. Aristide’s Lavalas Family party. On the other side were two anti-Aristide gangs — one based in a slum called Ti Bwa and a second called the Little Machete Army.
The latter earned its name at a soccer match in August 2005 that ended with police officers shooting in the stadium and the machete-wielding gang hacking fleeing spectators to death.
Grand Ravine residents and government officials blame the Little Machete Army and the Ti Bwa gang for last week’s massacre. What remains a mystery is what provoked it.
Haitian Police Chief Mario Andresol suspects the attack was related to the killings last year, which appeared to be a joint effort by the Little Machete Army and rogue police officers to eliminate the Grand Ravine gang, some of whose members were at the match.
Chief Andresol arrested 15 police officers for their participation in the soccer stadium killings, but the judge handling the case has since released most of them.
“This is my 13th conflict, and it’s been the toughest one to find out what’s really going on,” said Mr. Molloy, who oversaw disarmament in Sierra Leone before coming to Haiti. “There are a lot of smoke and mirrors. It’s very difficult to nail down the motives behind actions in Haiti.”
HAITI NEEDS CARICOM
We feel there is little reason for these concerns. CARICOM was justifiably clear about the reasons for suspending Haiti, as it was about the conditions under which Haiti would be readmitted. Had CARICOM not taken this position, it would have been seen to condone the violent overthrow of democratically elected administrations and the imposition of unelected rulers by countries with economic and military might.
With the election of Mr. René Préval’s Government, Haiti has met CARICOM’S conditions and has taken its place in the Community.
Mr. Préval is clear about how he expects participation in CARICOM will assist Haiti. He hopes that when he leaves office in five years, much would have been achieved in the political and economic stabilization of his troubled country.
For its part, CARICOM must now work towards helping Haiti to realize these laudable goals. The Community’s planned prime ministerial mission to Haiti must be followed by a program of assistance wherever resources can be found.
Haiti will need help, and in varied and significant quantities.
Mr. Préval’s plan for improvement will not be easy. Following a lull in the few weeks after he took office, criminal violence is again troubling the country. Gangs are murdering in disputes ranging from the use of a television set to watch World Cup Football matches, to control over narcotics trafficking.
Aspects of the country’s social infrastructure – mainly health and education – need urgent and adequate attention if the country’s rehabilitation is to be early and effective. Physical infrastructure and utilities, particularly electricity, need similar help. So, too, does the institutional infrastructure, mainly the judiciary that has been so discredited, particularly under the temporary, United States-backed administration of Gerard Latortue.
We suggest that in considering how to help Haiti, CARICOM should follow and support the examples being set by others. The European Union is increasing its levels of financial assistance to the country. Venezuela has made Haiti a beneficiary of its PETRO-CARIBE energy program. We urge regional and regionally-based businesses to follow the example of DIGICEL that is making beneficial use of a market that it has seen in Haiti.
While they may not be able significantly to assist Haiti with financial resources, we urge CARICOM leaders to consider ways in which they can provide social and institutional support that will complement what is being done by others. This could include, for a start, help in expanding Haiti’s civil administrative and business managerial capacity if the country is to be transformed into a modern, efficient economy to the benefit of other members of CARICOM.
SHOULD HAITI DECLARE A ?WAR ON TERRORISM? AGAINST THE U.S.?
On December 27, 1993, Emmanuel “Toto” Constant and his FRAPH (Revolutionary Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti) death squads began firing on the Haitian shantytown of Cite Soleil. They then circled the town with gasoline and burnt several hundred homes to the ground, forcing some fleeing residents- children included- back into their burning homes at gunpoint.
Two months before this attack, in October, 1993, the U.S. navy vessel, USS Harlan County was dispatched to Haiti carrying 200 troops to ostensibly pave the way for previously ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s return to power. As the ship approached the Port-au-Prince wharf, Constant and his men staged a riot and the USS Harlan was unable to dock. As a result, the populist President’s scheduled return was aborted.
During Constant’s three-year reign of terror, his FRAPH death squads butchered several thousand Haitian civilians. So how is it that one of the world’s leading terrorists is free and living in a nice, two-story home in the quiet Laurelton neighborhood of Queens, New York?
After the U.S. military entered Haiti in 1994, Constant, who by then had a criminal subpoena and a warrant for his arrest, escaped an uninspired “search” by U.S. soldiers and slipped into the U.S. on a tourist visa. He was eventually captured and placed in the custody of U.S. immigration authorities for over a year. In 1995, the Haitian government requested Constant’s extradition on charges of murder, torture and arson; however the U.S. suspended his deportation, claiming that Haitian courts could not handle the extradition and instead gave Constant a green card to live and work freely in the U.S.
In truth, it appears that the government’s change of heart on the extradition began after Constant revealed on the television news magazine “60 Minutes,” in December, 1995, that he had been on the CIA payroll during Haiti’s military rule (1991-1994). Constant then sued the U.S. government and threatened to reveal other CIA misdeeds in Haiti if he was not released- a strategy that worked in Constant’s favor. This list of misdeeds are believed to include CIA involvement in the 1991 coup that forced democratically-elected President Aristide out of the country, and that Constant staged the Port-au-Prince riot in October 1993 at the direction of the CIA to provide the U.S. with a reason to withhold President Aristide from Haiti.
Currently, as cluster bombs and daisy cutters fall on Afghanistan, the United States is a friendly host to terrorist Emmanuel Constant, responsible for the murders of thousands. The government refuses to extradite him to Haiti despite substantial evidence of his involvement in death, arson and torture and despite several requests from the Haitian government. Constant himself states that FRAPH still operates in Haiti, and he plans to return soon. The double standard here is interesting and goes unreported in the mainstream press. The U.S. justifies the Afghanistan war on much the same premise and may even expand that war to several other alleged “terrorist-harboring” countries such as Iraq and Syria. To date, the Haitians have no plans to begin bombing the United States.
Dr. Pittelli is a psychiatrist and post-September 11 convert to political activism from San Luis Obispo, CA.
HAITIAN TERRORIST ARRESTED ON LONG ISLAND
07/13/2006 – 18:16
Another reason to love New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer. But, as we’ve said before  regarding a similar case, getting Emmanuel Constant for mortgage fraud is kind of like nailing Hitler for tax-evasion. From Newsday , July 7:
A Queens man and former Haitian paramilitary leader, convicted of the 1994 massacre of slum-dwellers loyal to former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, has been arrested and charged with committing mortgage fraud from the Melville brokerage where he works, Suffolk officials said yesterday.
Emmanuel Constant, of 137-35 225 St. in Laurelton, was arrested Wednesday and will be arraigned in Suffolk today before Acting State Supreme Court Justice Michael Mullen on charges of first-degree grand larceny, falsifying business records and forgery, Suffolk district attorney’s office spokesman Robert Clifford said.
The case is being prosecuted by the state attorney general’s office. Clifford said details of the charges against Constant were not available late yesterday. Officials at the state attorney general’s office could not be reached for comment.
Constant did not return a call to his office at New York Mortgage Co. LLC in Melville. When called at his home, a woman who identified herself as Constant’s wife said she did not know anything about the charges and that her husband was “upstairs sleeping.”
Constant has lived in New York since 1995, despite a deportation order and charges that he led the Haitian paramilitary group, the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti, during the mid-1990s. Human rights groups allege the group terrorized and slaughtered supporters of the toppled Aristide.
After U.S. forces helped restore Aristide to power, Constant slipped into the United States on a tourist visa. Immigration and Naturalization Service agents captured him in Queens, but Constant appealed his deportation on the ground he would be killed if sent back.
He was released in 1996 on the condition that he not travel outside New York City and that he report regularly to the INS, now called Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In 2000, a Haitian court sentenced Constant to life in prison following his conviction in absentia for the 1994 massacre.
In a 2005 federal lawsuit, three unnamed women now living in the United States said Constant’s soldiers engaged in a “systematic campaign of violence against women” under his rule, and beat and gang-raped them.
Constant has so far largely ignored the lawsuit, the women’s lawyers have said.
The Provisional Electoral Council a failure, says EU observation
Port-au-Prince, July 10, 2006 – (AHP) The European Union’s electoral observation mission declared Saturday having found contradictions between the Haitian Constitution and the electoral decree used in the 2006 presidential and legislative elections.
The head of the mission, Johan Van Heck, who presented a report for the organization, said that the elections were not held legally, with the dates of the elections being pushed back multiple times.
Johan Van Heck proposed a revision of the electoral decree that was to be accompanied by an organizational law and the creation of a constitutional court to oversee electoral operations.
“The Electoral Council failed” said Van Heck highlighting that the CEP is neither an institutional nor an administrative body.
He expressed his hopes that the conditions be rectified as quickly as possible so that a permanent electoral counsel with a competent, independent and experienced body would be able to gain the confidence of the people.
The head of the European mission also called on civil society and political parties to play a more active role in the field of civic education, which ought to include more than distributing t-shirts.
“The success of elections depends on collective willingness” he said, proposing the creation of a law defining the role of journalists and he urged that public media be strengthened.
Johan Van Heck did not however dwell on the fact that almost all electoral councilors in charge of the 2006 elections were influential members of political parties engaged in the process.
Civil servants unjustly fired take to streets of Port-au-prince to call for their reintegration and for the liberation of all political prisoners
Port-au-Prince, July 10, 2006 – (AHP) ? Employees who were ‘unjustly dismissed’ from public administration over the last two years organized a non-violent march in the streets of Port-au-Prince to urge the new authorities to reintegrate them and to liberate all political prisoners.
The march, organized by the ?Plateforme résistence populaire du Bel-Air? (Bel-Air Popular Resistance) along with the “greater Lavalas movement” and the “coordination of progressive organizations”, set out fromn the populist district of Saint-Martin and finished up at Constitution Square near the National Palace.
Participants called on President René Préval to ?understand the necessity to urgently reverse the injustices and severe wrongs inflicted on hundreds of people and their families for political reasons.?
These citizens were fired solely because they were deemed partisan to the Aristide government following his forced departure on February 29, 2004, the demonstrators said.
Several of those dismissed from their positions with the national telephone service (Téléco), the national old-age insurance officer (ONA), the national port authority (APN), were subsequently arrested when they asked for damages.
“We are not against the outreach policy of the president, but this policy cannot be accompanied by a strategy to close off all those who were sacrificed and who were used as cannon fodder to promote a new future,” cried the demonstrators at the Constitution Square.
Others called on the new government to “resist the opportunistic schemers who want to marginalize their voices as was done so skillfully under the Aristide government.”
A spokesperson for Fanmi Lavalas, René Monplaisir, gave his support for the rights of those employees unfairly laid off by the former regime who wish to assert their rights.
They nevertheless applauded the new authorities for creating commissions to study the employees? files in an effort to come to a solution. René Monplaisir announced an important meeting with various representatives of the popular sectors to help advance this struggle, he said.
“We will continue to mobilize to ensure the rights of all citizens,? said Lavalas activists.
Activists at the July 10, 2006 demonstration also called for the release of hundreds of citizens, including former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, who has been in detention for almost the entire two years of the interim regime led by Gerard Latortue because of their political views.
AHP July 10, 2006, 12:30 PM
Day of reflection in memory of the first anniversary of the death of journalist and writer Jacques Roches; call for the deposition of complaints against authors of the massacres in popular neighbourhoods
Port-au-Prince, July 10, 2006 – (AHP) ? A collective of numerous civil society organizations of the Group of 184 organized Monday a day of mourning to reflect on the first anniversary of the death of journalist and writer Jacques Roches, and to more deeply analyse the roots of insecurity plaguing Haitian society.
Jacques Roche disappeared July 10, 2005, before being found dead 4 days later in Delmas 2. This phenomenon has seen no end.
A member of the Collective, the President of the Fédération Protestante d’Haïti (Protestant Federation of Haiti), Edouard Paultre, expressed his outrage at the rampant insecurity that have plagued Haiti in recent years.
“Kidnap victims have been forced to mortgage their homes just to pay ransoms for their freedom,” said Pastor Paultre.
This day of reflection was organized, he said, in order to honour the memory of Jacques Roche and those of other kidnapping victims, and to finally find a solution to this phenomenon.
Edouard Paultre called on authorities to adopt drastic measures to end this epidemic and encouraged trials for kidnappers so that they might serve sentences for their crimes as the law requires.
Simultaneously, a non-violent march urged families of massacre victims in popular neighbourhoods to file complaints against those who commit such crimes.
There have been hundreds who were collectively assassinated in Bel-air, Fort National, Cité Soleil and Grand?ravine throughout the 24 months following Aristide?s departure.
The victims must put an end to their silence and inaction and start to bring legal complaints against the perpetrators of such murderous acts, as this is the only way to encourage a return to peace, said the demonstrators.
The coordinator for the Grand Rassemblement pour l’Evolution d’Haïti, GREH (the Grand Assembly for the Evolution of Haiti)), former colonel Himmler Rébu, declared Monday that the phenomenon of insecurity prevailing over Haiti has social rootrs and a political structure.
According to him the crime wave of gang violence in recent weeks is but the result of disappointment felt by certain sectors of society.
The solution cannot come from Préval alone, said Rébu, who called on the six political parties in power to work to end insecurity enveloping the population of Haiti.
AHP July 10, 2006, 2:20 PM
See, AUMOHD report on Soccer Match Massacre (Kreyol & English): 5000 Soccer Fans Witness Machete/Hatchet Lynching by Haitian Police and Civilian Murderers For AUMOHD by Tom Luce with AUMOHD investigators| August 25, 2005
Ezili Danto report on Aug. Grand Ravine slaughter at USAID-sponsored soccer match Ezili Danto Project | August 25, 2005
Soccer Match Massacre and UN Complicity in hacking deaths, Ezili Danto Project | August 23, 2005
See also: AUMOHD press conference with over 200 Site Soley victims, May 3, 2006
July 6, 2006 – International Day Against the Extermination of Black Youths
Blan Kolon mete jèn Ayisyen lan kòd
Haitian Children Put in Chains by the Whites: Remembering How The UN dropped bombs on Haitian civilians in Site Soley last July, 2005, then put the wounded in chains
July 6, 2006 – Remembering July 6, 2005 and the UN massacre of innocent civilians from Site Soley: Demand UN soldiers stop killing innocent Haitian civilians and brutalizing the Haitian public, Demand Justice for the UN victims from Site Soley
HLLN Apèl pou Aksyon: Mande pou solda Nasyonzini yo sispann touye inosan nan popilasyon sivil la e sispann ak lòt zak maspinay yo ap fè sou pèp Ayisyen. Mande Pou Okipasyon ak Represyon Nasyonzini an Sispann
Celebrating the Life of Emmanuel “Drèd” Wilmè by Frantz Jerome, Haitian Perspectives, July 1, 2006
EXPOSE THE LIES:
Ale tande rapò a an Kreyol: Zam elegal pou mesye koudeta yo ki dekouvri lan ladwan
– Another black market arms shipment to coup d’etat assassins arrives in Haiti excerpted from a Levekampe Radio Broadcast and translated from Kreyol into English by Frantz Jerome