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28127: Haiti-Progres (News) This Week In Haiti 24:1 3/15/2006 (fwd)
From: Haïti Progrès <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"This Week in Haiti" is the English section of HAITI PROGRES
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"Le journal qui offre une alternative"
* THIS WEEK IN HAITI *
March 15 - 21, 2006
Vol. 24, No. 1
INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL ON HAITI:
GUY PHILIPPE AND LOUIS JODEL CHAMBLAIN CONVICTED
On March 11, some 250 people gathered in Miami at the southern campus of
Florida International University (FIU) to attend the third session of
the International Tribunal on Haiti.
Seven witnesses testified about the crimes against humanity committed by
United Nations occupation troops, the Haitian National Police (PNH) and
the Washington-backed "rebels" in the years before and after the
February 2004 coup against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
In the end, the eleven member jury found "rebel" leaders Guy Philippe
and Louis Jodel Chamblain guilty of master-minding massacres, carried
out by paramilitary gunmen under their command on Haiti's Central
Plateau between 2002 to 2004.
Guy Philippe was a former Haitian soldier and then a police chief, who
fled Haiti to the Dominican Republic in November 2000 after he was
discovered plotting a coup against President René Préval with other
high-ranking police officers. Louis Jodel Chamblain was the
vice-president of the Front for the Advancement and Progress in Haiti
(FRAPH), a notorious death squad during the first coup against Aristide
(1991-1994). The two became the most prominent leaders of the 200 or so
ex-soldiers and Tonton Macoutes who waged a guerilla war from the
Dominican Republic against Haiti's constitutional government from July
2001 to January 2004. In February 2004, these "rebels" staged a
media-hyped occupation of several towns and cities in Haiti's north,
allowing the U.S. Special Forces to kidnap Aristide from his home on
Feb. 29, 2004 on the pretext that they were saving his life.
Presiding Judge Benjamin Dupuy, assisted by Judges Lucie Tondreau and
Lionel Jean-Baptiste, opened the session by explaining the court's
purpose. "The tribunal will examine current reports of killing, torture,
illegal detention and other serious violations of international human
rights, as well as the events leading up to the overthrow of Haiti's
elected government in February 2004," Dupuy explained. "The Tribunal's
second purpose is to develop a case file that will be referred to the
prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in the Hague."
René Préval's victory in presidential elections last month will not
affect the court's mission. "Even if Haiti does transition to an elected
government, that will not end this Tribunal's work," Dupuy said. "The
return of democracy to Haiti will require establishing the truth about
the overthrow of democracy in Haiti, and the crimes against humanity
committed against the Haitian democracy movement over the last two
The Tribunal was held on Sep. 23, 2005 in Washington, DC and on Nov. 19,
2005 in Boston, MA. During those sessions, five men were convicted: U.S.
Marine Brigadier General Ronald Coleman, Haitian Police Inspector Yves
Gaspard, former Haitian National Police Chief Léon Charles, former UN
Mission to Stabilize Haiti (MINUSTAH) military commander Brazilian Lt.
General Augusto Heleno Ribiero Pereira, and the Chilean MINUSTAH chief
Juan Gabriel Valdes.
In the third session, four more U.N. officials were added to the 22
previously indicted: Jordanian Brig. General Mahmoud Al-Husban,
Brazilian Capt. Leonidas Carneiro, Chilean Gen. Eduardo Aldunate Herman,
and Brazilian Gen. Carvalho de Sigueira. Investigating Judge Brian
Concannon accepted the updated indictment and the prosecution team of
Desiree Wayne and Kim Ives began to call their witnesses.
Lawyer Tom Griffin presented a summary of the Commission of Inquiry's
final report, which he wrote. The Commission, headed by former U.S.
Attorney General Ramsey Clark, visited Haiti for a week in October 2005
and interviewed over 50 witnesses and victims of coup-related violence.
Griffin also testified about the testimony the Commission received about
Philippe's crimes on the Central Plateau. His presentation was
buttressed by a videotaped interview with the former Lavalas leader of
BelladPre, Cléonord Souverain, who described how Philippe's "rebels"
massacred five of his family members in their home in June 2002.
Two other Commission members - trade unionist Dave Welsh and John
Parker, director of the International Action Center's West Coast
office - also gave detailed and rousing reports about the testimony they
had gathered from witnesses and victims of coup-related violence in
Port-au-Prince's Belair neighborhood.
Mario Joseph, Haiti's foremost human rights defense lawyer, testified
about the human rights situation in Haiti during the coup, and
specifically about the role and responsibility of Philippe and
Dr. Evan Lyon, who works with Partners in Health in Cange on the Central
Plateau, also explained, using a Powerpoint presentation, how the
paramilitary guerillas of Phillipe and Chamblain victimized and
terrorized the population both before and after the coup.
One of the most moving moments was when AgnPs Mentor, a former officer
of the Special Unit of the Presidential Guard (USGPN), was asked to
testify about her polio-crippled nephew, raised as her own child, who is
currently held without charges in the National Penitentiary's infamous
Titanic cell block. Her voice broke and tears flowed as she told how the
police had arrested him in the street because they knew him to be her
Mentor, who now is exiled in Boston, also gave an eye-witness report of
the October 26, 2004 massacre in the capital's Fort National
neighborhood, in which 13 young people were summarily executed by masked
policemen. She fled Haiti under threats a month later.
Finally, Benissoit Duclos, the former head of Haiti's Taxi Driver Union
and director of the government-run Conatra bus company, explained how
the large "Dignité" bus fleet was destroyed by the coup's marauders,
mortally wounding Haiti's economy and population. He explained how the
U.S. government's National Endowment for Democracy (NED) had infiltrated
the union movement, and even attempted to penetrate his union and coopt
him. He also described how coup government burned down his home and
threatened to kill him, forcing him to flee to New York in March 2004.
Father Gérard Jean-Juste, who was scheduled to testify, could not be
present because he was in the hospital undergoing cancer treatment.
The entire session was presented in both English and Creole, with most
of the translating done by CreoleTrans' director Fedo Boyer. FIU student
Bibi Olivier also assisted interpreting.
Despite numerous difficulties, the success of the Tribunal's third
session was due in large measure to the work and support of three
Miami-based groups: the community organization Veye Yo, the support
group Haiti Solidarity, and the FIU-based Bolivarian Youth, who hosted
Delegations came from as far away as New York. Among the personalities
in the audience were renowned Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat
and the parents of Haitian First Lady Mildred Trouillot Aristide.
HAITI IS NOT FOR SALE!
In response to the de facto's government attempt to sign an accord
establishing U.N. control over the Haitian state, the National Popular
Party issued the following declaration on Mar. 13.
The National Popular Party (PPN) noted the outcry caused last week by
the agreement that lame-duck de facto Prime Minister Gérard Latortue
secretly signed on February 22, 2006 with apprentice-proconsul Juan
Gabriel Valdés, civilian head of MINUSTAH [U.N. Mission to Stabilize
Haiti] and Kofi Annan's special representative in Haiti.
First off, we must note that Latortue does not have the authority to
sign any international agreement, according to Article 139 of the
Constitution of the Republic of Haiti. Furthermore, didn't Latortue
himself repeatedly make it known that he was going to resign on February
7 and that he would do nothing more than tend to the government's daily
affairs.[until the newly elected government was sworn in]? What's worse
is that the de facto Prime Minister, who is obviously a puppet, signed
this agreement when the country has a new president-elect. Thus this
makes it clear that this was a big plot which Latortue and Valdés
carried out on February 22, surely on orders from Washington.
The PPN notes that many sectors of the population do not seem to grasp
what exactly is in this accord. We have heard many comments about only
one aspect of the accord, as if the occupier wants absolute control only
of the Haitian National Police (PNH).
While it stipulates that the PNH can do nothing without the preliminary
permission of MINUSTAH's police chief, the accord in fact goes further,
giving the United Nations a complete monopoly on power in the country,
in Article 3.6: "Neither the special representative of the UN
secretary-general [Juan Gabriel Valdés], nor the commander of MINUSTAH
forces, nor the MINUSTAH police chief, nor any member of MINUSTAH has to
take orders from any [Haitian] government representative or PNH
official..." Article 4.4 of the agreement stresses moreover that "the
transition government guarantees to MINUSTAH representatives free,
immediate and unrestricted access to all offices, locales, and
institutions, including prisons and other places of detention managed by
the PNH... and to all information sources, documents, registers, and
files controlled or possessed by the Police force or any other Haitian
authorities, including those of the Justice Ministry...." Even more
serious, the agreement states clearly: "One understands by transition
government not only the current government," (referring to the de facto
government) "but also all governments which will succeed it." This means
not only to the government of president-elect René Préval, but all the
others which will come after his mandate. Thus the February 22 agreement
clearly puts us under UN supervision for eternity. This is the mess into
which the traitor Gérard Latortue and other de facto civil servant,
in.cahoots with proconsul Gabriel Valdés, have put the country.
The PPN would like to remind all that a few days before the February 7
elections, Valdés declared that if the elections did not take place
under good conditions - a euphemism for saying according to his taste,
even though the occupying forces had organized them so they would
degenerate - the country would have to be put under international
supervision. That was Plan A. The Haitian people thwarted this plan on
Now, the occupier is trying to put in place Plan B. Latortue is
pretending that he had not read certain passages of the agreement,
before the press began to make a scandal out of it. However he defends
himself for having acted in that way, that is "blindly," since the
agreement, he claims, is just the continuity of preceding U.N.
resolutions on Haiti. Thus there is not a shade of doubt that Gérard
Latortue should be accused of high treason and tried.
The PPN says to the Haitian people that Washington's plan, supported by
Paris and Ottawa, is to place the country under supervision and make it
a U.N. protectorate. It is no coincidence that the North-American daily
newspaper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, wrote in a Feb. 26 article:
"After more than 200 years, it is becoming increasingly apparent that
Haiti will never become democratic, stable and democratic on its own. It
will achieve these lofty goals, if at all, only with the significant and
sustained involvement of countries like the United States and France and
international organizations like the Organization of American States and
In other words, they want to occupy the country for a long time.
Clearly, the old and new colonists are using organizations like the U.N.
and the OAS to experiment with new forms of occupation under cover of a
"peace-keeping" mission, like MINUSTAH.
The PPN points out that in fact the big countries referred to above
overthrew the constitutional government on February 29, 2004, and
occupied the country under the flag of the United Nations. These are the
same countries which are opposed today to the return of Jean-Bertrand
Aristide to his country, and which still hold in prison Lavalas leaders
and sympathizers, and which continue to repress the residents of popular
neighborhoods like Cité Soleil, Solino, Bélair, and Grande Ravine. They
are surprised to see a climate of "peace" in the country today.
The battle today is to fight against foreign occupation, which is
reinforced through the agreement signed between Latortue and Valdés. The
battle today is to fight to win the release of the political prisoners
and the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
The PPN notes that even some in the entourage of the de facto president
have declared that the Feb. 22 agreement violates the Constitution. We
also heard proconsul Valdés say that the question should be discussed in
the U.N. Security Council. We have heard Minustah declare that it is
going to sit down with the next government to discuss this agreement.
We in the PPN say that this agreement has absolutely and completely
unconstitutional and void. It is not a simple matter of form nor of
modifying certain clauses of the agreement, as some in the
Macouto-bourgeois sector would like to make believe. No! The new
Generals Leclerc and Rochambeau will have to assassinate all the people
of Haiti if they want to make Haiti a colony again. Assassinated in
1806, Dessalines did not die as his assassins thought. Today, they will
have to kill eight million Dessalines to have this plot succeed. We
categorically oppose the idea of leaving this matter to the next
government to deal with. The Haitian people did not thwart the attempted
electoral coup d'etat of February 7, 2006 only to give a mandate to the
new government to sell the country, either wholesale or retail.
Let us fight for another 1804!
Freedom or death!
For the political office of the PPN
Monday, March 13, 2006
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