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HLLN Newsletter 7 October 2007

Forwarded by the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network

In this issue

Edwidge Danticat recalls uncle’s immigration ordeal for Congress
Democracy Now!: Edwidge Danticat Chronicles Death of her Uncle at Federal Immigration Jail
Preval’s U.N. address (audio)| Text of Mugabe’s U.N.speech
The Price of Sugar showing in NY
Pacifica Resolution in support of Lovinsky

erzilidanto@yahoo.com

Recommended HLLN Links:
The film Price of Sugar, is showing in NY City at Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, NY. (212-924-3363) – For tickets/showtimes and more info, go to:
www.cinemavillage.com/chc/cv/

On the island of the Dominican Republic, tourists flock to pristine beaches unaware that a few miles away thousands of dispossessed Haitians have toiled under armed-guard on plantations harvesting sugarcane, much of which ends up in U.S. kitchens. www.cinemavillage.com/chc/cv/show_movie.asp?movieid=1099

Preval’s UN address at 62nd Session of UN General Assembly www.un.org/webcast/ga/62/ (Click on Sept. 26, 2007, then scroll down to Haiti )

Text of President Robert Mugabe’s speech at 62nd Session of UN General Assembly Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe President
www.newzimbabwe.com/pages/un34.16973.html

Ezili DantÚ’s note: Bwa Kayiman 2007 and the case of Lovinsky Pierre Antoine, by Ezili DantÚ, Haitian Perspectives, August 23, 2007 for the FreeHaitiMovement
www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/campaignone/presswork/lovinsky2.html

The African Trickster, a spoken word performance poetry monologue by Marguerite Laurent | www.margueritelaurent.com/writings/Africantrickster.html

Ill-fated journey challenges U.S. policies
www.libertypost.org/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?ArtNum=152388

– Edwidge Danticat recalls uncle’s immigration ordeal for Congress, Miami Herald
www.realcities.com/mld/kentucky/news/politics/
17829591.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp

– In New Memoir, Award-Winning Haitian Novelist Edwidge Danticat Chronicles
Death of Her Uncle at Federal Immigration Jail, Oct. 5, 2007, Democracy Now!
verbal.democracynow.org/2007/10/5/i
n_new_memoir_award_winning_haitian

MP3: Edwidge Danticat on Democracy Now:
ia351435.us.archive.org/3/items/dn
2007-1005/dn2007-1005-1_64kb.mp3

– The film Price of Sugar, is showing in NY City at Cinema Village, 22 East
12th Street, NY. (212-924-3363) – For showtimes and more info, go to:
www.cinemavillage.com/chc/cv/ and
www.cinemavillage.com/chc/cv/show_movie.asp?movieid=1099

– Pacifica Board Resolution in Support of Haitian Human Rights Leader,
Lovinsky Pierre Antoine

Edwidge Danticat recalls uncle’s immigration ordeal for Congress
By Lesley Clark
McClatchy Newspapers, Oct 4, 2007

(MCT)
www.realcities.com/mld/kentucky/news/politics/
17829591.htm?template=contentModules/printstory.jsp

WASHINGTON – Fleeing death threats from armed gangs in his native Haiti, Joseph
Dantica, 81, arrived in Miami in 2004, seeking asylum. Five days after being
detained by immigration officials, the Baptist minister was dead.

His grieving family was left with “his corpse, a cadaver and a cause of death,”
for a disease with which he’d never been diagnosed or treated for, his niece
Edwidge Danticat told a congressional panel Thursday, her sobs interrupting her
words.

“In spite of the designation he was given as just Alien No. 27041999, he was a
father, a grandfather, a brother and uncle, a friend,” Danticat, 38, a
Haitian-born novelist said, her voice breaking. “He is missed and treasured
every single day by those who loved him.”

Danticat’s emotional testimony came as the House immigration subcommittee
convened what is believed to be the first hearing on medical care in the
nation’s immigration detention centers, and it prompted chairman Rep. Zoe
Lofgren, D-Calif., to pledge changes. Lofgren, a former immigration attorney,
said the hearing comes as immigration officials step up enforcement, increasing
the number of detainees in custody.

Nearly 300,000 men, women and children were detained in 2006, triple the amount
from 2001, according to Lofgren. “We either have to get our act together or
some federal judge is going to step in,” Lofgren said, adding that many
detainees like Dantica are not criminals but simply immigrants seeking asylum
in the United States. “I can’t promise success, but I can promise efforts.”

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has come under increasing
scrutiny for its treatment of detainees. Immigration advocates said they have
to threaten lawsuits to get information, even on deaths. Dantica’s family still
has suspicions about the manner of his death.

An official with ICE defended the agency’s medical care, calling it “extremely
robust” and “very aggressive.”

Gary Mead, the assistant director for management, said each detainee undergoes
at least two health exams and that about 25 percent have chronic health
problems, including high blood pressure and diabetes. He said many first learn
of the conditions when being processed, and are treated for them.

He said there have been 66 deaths of detainees in ICE custody in four years.

But Lofgren, who chastised ICE for failing to present its testimony to the
committee 48 hours before the hearing, said she was skeptical of his claims.

And she questioned the requirement that an immigration office in Washington
sign off before diagnostic testing like a biopsy or MRI can be conducted.

Franciso Castaneda, a Salvadoran who immigrated to the United States as a
10-year-old, fleeing the civil war. He was detained in 2006 following a drug
arrest, and held for 10 months in California, where he said immigration
detention officials failed to properly treat a painful lesion on his penis.

Ten months later, on Feb. 14, 2007, his penis was amputated to save him from a
fast-moving cancer that has also spread to his lymph nodes.

“I’m a 35-year-old man with my life on the line,” Castaneda said, breaking into
a smile as he introduced his 14-year-old daughter. “I wanted her to see her
father do something for the greater good, so that she will have that memory of
me,” he said.

Cheryl Little, executive director of the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center,
said immigration attorneys have been trying for years to bring attention to the
problem. She said lack of access to medical care ranks as one of detainees’
chief complaints.

Danticat, who has published a book on the life of her uncle, thanked Lofgren
for holding the hearing.

“It was so hard to get anyone to listen,” she said. “It was just a voice in the
wind.”

---

© 2007, The Miami Herald.

Visit The Miami Herald Web edition on the World Wide Web at
www.herald.com

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

© 2007 KRT Wire and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
www.kentucky.com

In New Memoir, Award-Winning Haitian Novelist Edwidge Danticat Chronicles Death
of Her Uncle at Federal Immigration Jail
verbal.democracynow.org/2007/10/5
/in_new_memoir_award_winning_haitian

Edwidge Danticat is an award winning Haitian-born writer who now lives in
Miami. In November 2004, Danticat’s 81-year old uncle Reverend Joseph Dantica
died in the custody of immigration officials. He had arrived from Haiti seeking
political asyslum following threats on his life. Denied his medicines and
accused of faking an illness, he died just days after his detention. Edwidge
Danticat tells this devastating story in her latest book, “Brother I’m
Dying.”

Immigrant detention centers constitute one of the fastest growing forms of
incarceration in the United States. Currently there are 30,000 immigrants in
detention and nearly 300,000 are detained each year. They are held in private,
federal, or county prisons across the country for weeks and even months while
the government decides whether to deport them. According to Immigration and
Customs Enforcement or ICE, which is a division of the Department of Homeland
Security, one quarter of the people they detain suffer from chronic health
conditions. ICE claims to spend $98 million dollars a year on healthcare for
detainees and to provide them with “humane and safe detention
environments.”

But at least 65 people have died in ICE custody since 2004. The House Judiciary
Committee organized a hearing Thursday afternoon on this subject. Tom Jawetz of
the ACLU prison project called the care at the detention centers “grossly
deficient, inexcusable, and immoral.”

Edwidge Danticat is an award winning Haitian-born writer who now lives in
Miami, Florida. She also testified at Thursday’s congressional hearing. In
November of 2004 her 81-year old uncle Reverend Joseph Dantica died in the
Krome detention center in Miami. He had just fled Haiti after hiding from an
armed gang that threatened to kill him because United Nations and Haitian
police forces had fired shots from the roof of his church. Reverend Dantica
arrived at Miami International Airport with a multiple entry visa and said he
was applying for temporary political asylum. He was immediately detained and
his medicines were taken away from him. A medic at Krome accused him of
“faking his illness.” He died a few days later.

Edwidge Danticat tells this devastating story in her latest book. It’s a
memoir called Brother I’m Dying.” She joins me now from Miami, Florida.

Edwidge Danticat, Award-winning Haitian-American novelist. She is the author of
several books including “Breath, Eyes, Memory”, “The Farming of the
Bones”, “Krik? Krak!” and “The Dew Breaker.” Her latest book is a
memoir called “Brother I’m Dying.” It tells the story of her uncle Joseph
Dantica dying in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security.

ia351435.us.archive.org/3/items/dn2007-1005/dn2007-1005-1_64kb.mp3

and

verbal.democracynow.org/2007/10/5/in_new_memoir_award_winning_haitian

The film Price of Sugar, is showing in NY City at Cinema Village, 22 East 12th
Street, NY. (212-924-3363) – For tickets/showtimes and more info, go to:
www.cinemavillage.com/chc/cv/ and
www.cinemavillage.com/chc/cv/show_movie.asp?movieid=1099

For more information, go to, thepriceofsugar.com, or, www.cinemavillage.com .

THE PRICE OF SUGAR
(unrated) , 90 mins
Directed by Bill Haney
Featuring: Narrator: Paul Newman. With: Father Christopher Hartley

On the island of the Dominican Republic, tourists flock to pristine beaches
unaware that a few miles away thousands of dispossessed Haitians have toiled

U.S. kitchens. www.cinemavillage.com/chc/cv/show_movie.asp?movieid=1099

*

www.villagevoice.com/film/0739,taylor,77916,20.html
Tracking Shots
The Price of Sugar

Haitian cane-cutters in the Dominican Republic
by Ella Taylor

September 26th, 2007 2:07 PM

The tainted relationship between the dessert on our tables and the suffering of
those who produce it gets a horrifying workout in Bill Haney’s multi-layered
account of Haitian cane-cutters in the Dominican Republic. On one level, The
Price of Sugar is a story of the struggle between Haiti and the Dominican
Republic, two poor nations who share the same island—a conflict made manifest
in the de facto enslavement of Haitian migrant laborers on Dominican sugar
plantations. There they work long hours under appalling conditions for no pay,
supervised by armed guards employed by powerful family-owned Dominican
companies who hold the government in their pockets. Those same powers foment
resentment among ordinary Dominicans against Father Christopher Hartley, a
Catholic priest who lives among the Haitians, wrings concessions for them out
of a reluctant government, and tries to lay down a self-help infrastructure.
Out of this sorry tale of human trafficking emerges a fascinating portrait of
this handsome, pugnacious, one-man NGO, who left a cushy life with his
patrician Anglo-Spanish family to work with Mother Theresa and devote himself
to the oppressed. His father, who in a lovely irony made his fortune as the CEO
of one of England’s oldest jam-making companies, describes his son as “very
difficult.” Thank God for that: Like many absolutists, Father Christopher can
be a pain in the ass, which is just what’s needed for the padded rear ends of
these slave-owners—and for those of us who gorge on the results.

Pacifica Board Resolution in Support of Haitian Human Rights Leader, Lovinsky
Pierre Antoine, Sept. 30, 2007

September 30, 2007
To: Pacifica Radio National Board
RE: Resolution in support of disappeared Haitian human rights leader Lovinsky
Pierre-Antoine
From: Submitted by Margaret Prescod, KPFK

Whereas, Haitian human rights leader Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine is missing in
Haiti and has not been seen since the evening of Sunday, August 12, 2007 after
meeting with a U.S. human rights delegation then in Haiti;

Whereas, Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine is a tireless fighter for the Haitian people:
a grassroots leader and founding member and coordinator of the September 30th
Foundation, a Haitian human rights organization which advocates for victims of
the 1991 coup, the first against President Aristide;

Whereas, as a young psychologist working in Port au Prince, Lovinsky
Pierre-Antoine helped establish Fondsayon Kore Timoun Yo (Foundation for the
Support of Children) for street children in Port au Prince; FAM (Foyer pour
Adolescentes Mres), a center for teenage mothers; and Map Viv (”I Live”), a
program designed to give psychological and medical aid to the victims of the
1991 coup;

Whereas, the September 30th Foundation, named for the date of the first coup
against President Aristide in 1991, emerged out of this work, and similar to
the work of Mothers of the Disappeared in Central and South America, held
weekly vigils demanding justice for victims of human rights violations and the
release of political prisoners;

Whereas, Lovinsky Pierre Antoine has been snatched from his family and the
community that loves and needs him;

Whereas, the Haitian grassroots and sisters and brothers throughout the
Caribbean region have asked for international support in calling for the safe
return of Lovinsky Pierre Antoine;

Whereas, the KPFK local station board has joined the call for a safe return of
Lovinsky Pierre Antoine;

Therefore be it resolved, that the Pacifica Radio National Board is concerned
and outraged over the disappearance of this valiant fighter for human rights
and dignity, and we support the call to the United Nations; the government of
President Rene Preval; the government of Brazil, as head of the UN military
mission in Haiti; and the U.S. Embassy in Port au Prince to do all in their
power to ensure that Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine is released unharmed;

Be it further resolved, that the Pacifica Radio National Board encourage all
Pacifica stations and affiliates to educate its listeners about Lovinsky
Pierre-Antoine and his life of working for peace and justice, and to keep
critical attention focused on the need for Lovinsky to be returned safely to
his family and his people.

Forwarded by Ezili’s Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network

www.margueritelaurent.com/law/lawpress.html

“Why is MINUSTHA silent about the disappearance of Lovinsky Pierre Antoine?
Picket Line at UN, New York
www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/
campaignone/presswork/Lovinsky1.html

“…Si nou f? silens,
y ’ap f? l pou nou,
y’ap f? l sans nou
y’ap f? l kont nou…Ki vle di, pran peyi Ayiti lan men nou…” Alina Sixto
on Free (Sove) Lovinsky, mp3 (8:19, Emission Fanmi Lavalas New York, Sept. 16,
2007)
www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/
campaignone/presswork/Alina.mp3

Ezili Dant?’s Note- Allegedly there’s a person who claims he saw Lovinsky
after Lovinsky was taken( mp3/7:08, Emission Fanmi Lavalas, NY, Sept. 23, 2007)
www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/c
ampaignone/presswork/eziliFL_9_23-07.mp3

“……S’il s’agissait d’une disparution politique…La mort de Lovinsky
Pierre-Antoine serait une declaration de guerre contre tous ceux qui luttent
pour la democracie participative…Le 29 Fevrier 2004, a ouvert la voix
au kidnapping en Ayiti, comme en 1441 le Portugal avait ouvert – pour la
premiere fois – le commerce de la traite des noires.” Commentaire de Franklin
Ulysse, editorialiste : Ou est passe Lovinsky Pierre Antoine et qui est le
serpent aux lunettes noires? |(mp3/ 6:29 – Emission Fanmi Lavalas, New York,
Sept. 23, 2007)
www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/c
ampaignone/presswork/eziliFL_9_23-07.mp3

End Media Silence on Lovinsky
www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/campaignone/presswork/lovinsky2.html

ezilidanto.com | www.margueritelaurent.com/law/lawpress.html

Forwarded by the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network

  
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