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From revolisyonè vre (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Jeb Sprague writes "I see no 'overwhelming amount of evidence' that 'Aristide's
government has sanctioned the brutal smashing of a peasant demonstration’ as
you state. Where is this 'overwhelming evidence’ of government sanction?”
In a May 2002 release from the Haiti Support Group
(http://www.haitiprogres.com/2002/sm020501/eng05-01.html), that organization
wrote that "Haitian state authorities have refused to back the workers'
legitimate struggle for union rights and collective bargaining, and the
judiciary has openly sided with the ruling class in land disputes...These
factors have created the context where the local bosses and landowners have
decided to get rid of, to eliminate, all those who work and cultivate the
In the June 2002 Haiti Progres article "Haitian Government Supports Big
Landowners in Clash with Peasants"
(http://www.haitiprogres.com/2002/sm020605/eng06-05.html), the newspaper writes
"Aristide's government has sanctioned the brutal smashing of a peasant
demonstration, the lynching of two demonstrators, and the imprisonment without
charges or medical attention of two journalists and ten demonstrators, most of
whom were badly beaten by a big landowner's armed goons....(Jacques Novella's)
thugs killed with machetes and buried an elderly peasant couple...Police
arrived on the scene as the skirmish was ending and arrested 10 demonstrators
and two journalists, Darwin St. Julien of Haïti Progrès newspaper and Allan
Deshommes of Radio Atlantik, based in the northern town of Quartier
Morin...Last year, Novella paid about $14,000 US to (the Fanmi Lavalas mayor)
Fernand Sévère to sabotage the Guacimal peasant's union and their demands."
In a Haiti Progres article later that same month, "The Guacimal Affair:
Journalists Released but Nine Others Languish, Uncharged, in Jail,"
(http://www.haitiprogres.com/2002/sm020612/eng06-12.html) the paper wrote that
"in Brooklyn, NY, Haitians gathered on Jun. 8 to listen to Paul Philome, a
Haiti-based militant of Batay Ouvriyè, and Ben Dupuy, secretary general of the
PPN, condemn the Haitian government’s support of rampaging big landowners in
In the June 2002 Reporters Sans Frontières release "Two journalists freed after
ten days of detention" (http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=2481), the
press freedom group Jeb Sprague erroneously charges "claim that Aristide
"ordered" the murder of journalists" states plainly that "armed men, apparently
sent by a big local landowner, and local officials attacked the protesters,
killing two people, while seven others, including the journalists, were
arrested...All seven were taken by helicopter to the capital, Port-au-Prince,
and placed in the National Penitentiary."
Three independent and often mutually hostile organizations came to the same
conclusion about what happened to the workers in the north of Haiti in 2002.
Jeb Sprague's denial of government complicity does not hold up.
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