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

Face à l’Opinion: Senator Samuel Madistin on Corruption and Peasant Demonstrations in the Artibonite, 17 Apr. 1996

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Download: Face à l’Opinion: Senatè Samuel Madistin sou Manifestasyon Peyizan ak Koripsyon ODVA nan Latibonit, 17 avril 1996 (1)

Face à l’Opinion: Senatè Samuel Madistin sou Manifestasyon Peyizan ak Koripsyon ODVA nan Latibonit, 17 avril 1996 (2)

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Outspoken and controversial Senator Samuel Madistin discusses the struggle and demonstrations of peasant farmers in the Artibonite who, since 1989, have lacked access to water for their crops. He blames inefficiency and corruption on the part of the Organisme du Développement de la Vallée de l’Artibonite (ODVA), Care, and PADF, which he describes as a “permanent plot against the peasants.” He also denounces the Plan National d’Éducation et de Formation (PNEF), because of a scholarship program that would require accepting loans from the Inter-American Development Bank that would not reinforce existing state structures. He criticizes privatization in general, especially as a condition of aid from the US. Madistin was a member of the OPL party, which at the time stood for Organisation Politique Lavalas. The following year, in 1997, it would break with Fanmi Lavalas and change its name to Organisation du Peuple en Lutte (Òganizasyon Pèp kap Lite). Interview Jean Dominique.

“Privatization and development are like milk and lemon. They don’t go together. They are like dogs and cats. That is my deep conviction.” – Samuel Madistin

Face à l’Opinion: Senator Paul Denis on False Checks, Corruption, and Insecurity, 3 June 1996

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Download: Face à l’Opinion: Senatè Paul Denis sou fo chèk, koripsyon ak ensekirite, 03/06/1996 (1)

Face à l’Opinion: Senatè Paul Denis sou fo chèk, koripsyon ak ensekirite, 03/06/1996 (2)

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Senator Paul Denis discusses how some 60 million Haitian gourdes went missing from state coffers via “false checks”, through an intricate web of corruption and complicity between people in the Ministry of Finance and the Banque Nationale de la République d’Haïti. A few bank employees were arrested and subsequently released; a widespread investigation was never launched and no one was ultimately held accountable. Denis also discusses the increasing insecurity, violence, and kidnapping in Port-au-Prince, the role of the national police after the disbanding of the Haitian army, and inflation. Paul Denis was a member of the OPL party (Òganizasyon Pèp kap Lite, or the Struggling People’s Party), and later of the Convergence Démocratique.  He became Minister of Justice during the second term of President René Preval. Interview Jean Dominique.

Face à l’Opinion: Father Rénald Clérismé on the First Anniversary of Jean-Marie Vincent’s Assassination, 24 Aug. 1995

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Face à l’Opinion: Pè Rénald Clérismé sou Premyè Anivèsè Asasina Jean-Marie Vincent, 24/8/1995 (1)

Face à l’Opinion: Pè Rénald Clérismé sou Premyè Anivèsè Asasina Jean-Marie Vincent, 24/8/1995 (2)

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Father Jean Marie Vincent, a Catholic priest who founded the peasant rights association “Tet Kole Ti Peyizan Ayisyen” in the small town of Jean Rabel, was assassinated on August 28, 1994 under the military regime. On the first anniversary of Father Vincent’s death, Jean Renald Clérismé, a former Catholic priest (and eventual Minister of Foreign Affairs of Haiti from 2006- 2008) remembers Jean Marie Vincent, his devotion to the peasantry (“Jean-Marie grew up with a boundless love for the peasantry”) and his commitment to liberation theology and universal dignity for all. Clérismé also discusses development and underdevelopment, corruption, and the role of the international community in Haiti, as well as Aristide’s return and the US and UN occupations of 1994-1995. Clérismé explains that in order to truly honor Jean-Marie Vincent’s memory, they must seek justice not only for him but for all the victims of the regime, including the poor and invisible. Interview Jean Dominique.

“Everyone is demanding justice for Janboul [Jean-Marie], justice for [Antoine] Izméry, justice for [Guy] Malary, because those people were visible. But a penniless unfortunate on the street, that they seize and they beat, and they take him and rape his brothers, rape his sisters, rape his mother – those people, too, they deserve to be commemorated, for us to say that they were people too and to put them together with Janboul. We can’t honor Janboul if we don’t put those people’s problems together with the commemoration we’re doing for him.” – Rénald Clérismé