Jean Rabel: Rémy Lucas and Jean-Michel Richardson, date unknown 1987

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Download: Jean Rabel: Rémy Lucas ak Jean-Michel Richardson (1)

Jean Rabel: Rémy Lucas ak Jean-Michel Richardson (2)

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Interview with Rémy Lucas (local oligarch) and Jean-Michel Richardson on their roles in and perceptions of the violence in Gros Sable on February 17, 1987. Lucas and Richardson dismiss allegations that they were responsible for the burning of peasant houses in Gros Sable or any of the events in the Jean Rabel area. They insist that they never had a problem with anybody — they are the victims and that the real blame lies with the “missionary team” of Father Jean-Marie Vincent, who was organizing local peasants to claim their rights and land through the Tèt Ansanm movement. It is not the peasants’ fault, they say, because they are being poorly guided. Lucas and Richardson claim, variously, that Father Vincent is corrupt, that he’s only claiming to do things for the peasants but is in fact profiting, that he’s done a few good works but that it’s been insufficient, that he’s responsible for the introduction of ill-suited North American pigs to Haiti (via his work with Caritas), and that the missionaries personally burned down Richardson’s factory and therefore only increased poverty and hunger in the area by depriving people of their jobs. Lucas and Richardson claim that Father Vincent is not acting as a priest should, that he is creating disunity rather than unity and dividing the community. They defend the reputation of Nicol Poitevien, another powerful local landowner, denying that he was a Macoute. Richardson likewise says he was never a Macoute himself: he was in government, but he never had the “soul” of a Macoute. Lucas claims that he is part of a new, more open generation of the Lucas family. He hedges when asked how much land his family really owns, and says that the peasants have cut down most of the trees on it, anyway.  Interview Konpè Filo. 

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