Testimonies of April 26, 1986, Fort Dimanche Massacre (Mothers of Victims, Human Rights Observer) – one-year anniversary, 26 Apr. 1987

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Download: Temwanyaj sou masak Fort Dimanche, 26 avril 1986 (manman viktim yo, obsèvatè dwa moun) – 1 an aprè


Part 1: Liliane Pierre-Paul interviews the mothers and older sister of three young men who were killed by the army at the April 26, 1986 demonstration in front of Fort Dimanche. On that date, there was a procession from Sacre Coeur church to Fort Dimanche in commemoration of the events of April 26, 1963.

Le Nouvelliste, 26 avril 1986

When the crowd assembled in front of Fort Dimanche, the army fired upon them, killing and wounding an unknown number of people. Among them were Jackson Row, age 26, who worked as a typist at the Nouvelliste; Wilson Auguste, 18, a secondary school student; and Wilson Micaisse, 16, also a second school student. A year after the young men’s deaths, the speakers – who are working class street merchants — are distraught and emotional, seeking justice thought not sure how to do that. They say that the young men were treated like dogs rather than people.

Part 2: Testimony from Gary Desenclos from the Comité des droits de l’homme haïtien in Belgium, who was at the April 26, 1986 event as a human rights observer. He states that the violence committed by the army was largely without provocation. While the crowd was making some threats, they were not armed, and at the time of the violence, representatives of the Benoît and Édeline families (which were nearly exterminated in the 1963 massacre) had calmed the crowd down. The army then waited a time, and began to fire. They also stopped people from assisting the injured.

For pdfs of the Nouvelliste reporting on this event from April 26-27 1986, click here, here, and here.

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