Face à l’Opinion: Senator Yvon Toussaint on State Corruption, 10 Apr. 1996

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Download: Face à l’Opinion: Senatè Yvon Toussaint sou Koripsyon andan Leta Ayisyen, 10 avril 1996 (1)

Face à l’Opinion: Senatè Yvon Toussaint sou Koripsyon andan Leta Ayisyen, 10 avril 1996 (2)

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Senator Yvon Toussaint of the OPL party (Organisation du Peuple en Lutte) denounces widespread corruption within the government, specifically the misuse of funds and check fraud (“chèk zonbi”) by employees of the ONA (Office National d’Assurance) and several government ministries. He traces this culture of immorality and corruption to the Duvalier dictatorship: while the regime has changed, the expectation of unscrupulousness on the part of state employees has not. Jean Dominique criticizes the Lavalas party and post-return Aristide rather boldly. Yvon Toussaint was gunned down three years later, in front of his home, on March 1, 1999. His murder has gone unpunished. Interview Jean Dominique.

“Lavalas has, bit by bit, come to resemble what the Duvalieristes were in ’57 and ’58.” – Jean Dominique

“What you’re saying there, Senator… let me summarize it, as I understand it — because if I understand what you’re saying correctly, I have a hard time digesting it. Since the return [of Aristide], as the senator has said – heh. The One has come back to us, The One is back with us, and the first thing – tchhip! – participation is put on the sidelines. It’s not part of the soccer team anymore. Second, while participation’s not on the soccer team anymore, transparency isn’t on the soccer team, either. And there’s a third thing, too, for us to lament: justice is nowhere to be seen. That’s to say that the three rocks [that hold our cooking pot over the fire] that were part of the mandate of December 16, 1990 [when Aristide was first elected] – justice, transparency, and participation – all three of them, since October 15 [1994, when Aristide returned after the coup] – they have been dismissed. And where, where is our cooking pot [the Lavalas movement] now? Our pot, it has no rocks underneath it anymore… eh? This is a real problem we’ve got here…” – Jean Dominique

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