Inter-Actualités Magazine, Special Report: The Slaughter at Jean Rabel, late July 1987

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

Download: Inter-Actualités Magazine, Repòtaj Spesyal: Masak Jean Rabel (l’Hécatombe de Jean Rabel), fen jiye 1987 (1)

Inter-Actualités Magazine, Repòtaj Spesyal: Masak Jean Rabel (l’Hécatombe de Jean Rabel), fen jiye 1987 (2)

 

DESCRIPTION

As news of the massacre of peasants at Jean Rabel reaches Port-au-Prince, Jean Dominique tries to make sense of the situation based on the scarce information at hand.  All that is known is that a group of peasants in the grassroots group Tèt Ansanm who were demanding land reform have been killed by other peasants as the result of the machinations of Duvalierist landowners.  Jean Rabel is in a remote area and the press can not yet go there.  There are conflicting reports about the number of dead; tens to hundreds are reported dead, and there is the possibility that the death counts have been inflated by the aggressors.

July1989_chantepeyizan_cartoon_1 copy

Cartoon from Tèt Kole Ti Peyizan Ayisyen’s 1989 pamphlet commemorating the Jean Rabel massacre. Wealthy landowners, the army, the Church, and the US, among others, are destroying Haitian peasant farmers. (Source: Radio Haïti Inter paper archive.)

This program revisits several other recordings — the July 3, 1987 interview with members of Tèt Ansanm in which they they warn that the situation is getting more perilous for Jean-Marie Vincent’s missionary team, the July 28, 1987 broadcast from Radio Soleil in which members of Tèt Ansanm who escaped the massacre described what they saw and experienced, Konpè Filo’s interview with Rémy Lucas and Jean-Michel Richardson earlier in 1987 after the violence at Gros Sable, and Michèle Montas’ interview with Father Jean-Marie Vincent on July 28, 1987.  While Jean-Marie Vincent is careful not to criticize Church authorities directly, the Association Nationale des Agronômes Haïtiens is more direct in its denunciation; in an open letter, they claim that bishops and priests have long been attacking Tèt Ansanm and Father Jean-Marie’s missionary team through inflammatory sermons, and that the Church is implicated in this violence.  According to speakers from the community of Plaine de l’Arbre, Tèt Ansanm had also been promoting national production and the consumption of local agricultural products by blocking imported food and food aid (manje sinistre), which created resentment for peasants whose families could not eat without this aid.  The recording concludes with Father Jean-Marie’s words on the future of Tèt Ansanm and grassroots peasant organization.

Inter-Actualités Magazine, Special Report on Jean Rabel: Land Ownership, Anti-Communism, the Catholic Church, and Rumors, 16 August 1987

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

Download: Inter-Actualités Magazine, Repòtaj Spesyal sou Jean Rabel: Pwopriyetè Tè, Anti-Kominis, Legliz Katolik, ak Twipotaj, 16 daout 1987 (1)

Inter-Actualités Magazine, Repòtaj Spesyal sou Jean Rabel: Pwopriyetè Tè, Anti-Kominis, Legliz Katolik, ak Twipotaj, 16 daout 1987 (2)

DESCRIPTION

Three weeks after the massacre at Jean Rabel, the independent media is still forbidden to visit the area, so Jean Dominique sits with Michèle Pierre-Louis (who had recently visited the region as part of Mission Alpha) and agronomist Chavannes Jean-Baptiste (the founder of the Peasant Movement of Papaye) to discuss the aftermath of the massacre and the factors underpinning it. Pierre-Louis observes a great deal of hostility toward Jean-Marie Vincent and his missionary team among the peasants of Lacoma. But this hostility is the product of intentional strategy, one that the local landowners adopted when Tèt Ansanm’s ideology called into question existing social structure.

Cartoon from Tèt Kole's 1989 pamphlet commemorating the Jean Rabel massacre.  Peasant farmers plan to cut down the tree of injustice and oppression with the axe of liberation.  (Source: Radio Haïti Inter paper archive)

Cartoon from Tèt Kole’s 1989 pamphlet commemorating the Jean Rabel massacre. Peasant farmers plan to cut down the tree of injustice and oppression with the axe of liberation. (Source: Radio Haïti Inter paper archive)

These landowners — threatened by the possibility of losing their traditional power amid post-Duvalier political change — have manipulated the peasants of the Jean Rabel area, pitting them against one another, currying favor with certain groups of peasants with promises of land redistribution and favoritism. They have created a situation, in Jean-Baptiste’s words, in which the “little dog eats the little dog, poor peasants are killing poor peasants just like themselves.” According to Jean-Baptiste, the landowners and their allies (including certain radio stations and the traditional Catholic Church) have been part of a misinformation campaign, accusing Jean-Marie Vincent of being a communist, creating a climate of fear in which peasants believe that communists are going to seize their land, homes, and possessions. Divisions within the Catholic Church — between the traditional, reactionary Church hierarchy and the “ti legliz” preaching liberation theology and promoting the rights of the poor dispossessed peasantry – are also responsible for the massacre, and, according to Jean-Baptiste, the Church should be held responsible. Interview Jean Dominique.

Henri Namphy, Public Address, 7 June 1986

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

Download: Henri Namphy, Diskou Piblik, 7 jen 1986

DESCRIPTION

By March 1986, just over a month after Jean-Claude Duvalier fell from power, the first Conseil National de Gouvernement (CNG) had dissolved and violence and disorder swept through Port-au-Prince. In June 1986, Henri Namphy gave this speech, in which he speaks of democracy, revolution, and the victory of February 7 (when Duvalier fell). He says there will be solutions to Haiti’s problems – -there will be order, development, health, education, literacy, agricultural and economic development.

Henri Namphy, Public Address After the Fall of Duvalier, 25 Feb. 1986

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

Download: Henri Namphy, Diskou Piblik Aprè Duvalier Fin Tonbe, 25 fevriye 1986

DESCRIPTION

General Henri Namphy addresses the Haitian people shortly after taking over as president of the interim government following the fall of Jean-Claude Duvalier. He speaks much of democracy and the needs and demands of the people, and of the goals of the interim government (Conseil National de Gouvernement), including the restoration of the pre-Duvalier flag, freedom of the press, foreign and domestic investment, international cooperation and the general dismantling of Duvalierism.

Unrest in Gonaïves, 19 Nov., 3 Dec., 8 Dec. 1986

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

Download: Dezòd nan Gonayiv

DESCRIPTION

After Namphy’s declaration that he would not tolerate any kind of protests, the town of Gonaïves breaks out in unrest. People gather in the streets shouting, businesses all shut their doors, tires are burned throughout the streets and there is talk of overthrowing Namphy and his government. Also a defense of the violence in L’Estère (see the other recordings about Gonaïves/L’Estère and the “rice war”) saying that they were just trying to get past the barricades.

Additional background on the Artibonite Rice Wars.

 

 

Rice Wars, Artibonite: Conflict Between Gonaïves and L’Estère, 4 Dec. 1986

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

Download: Zafè Gonayiv Lestè 4/12/86

DESCRIPTION

Claiming that the local authorities are not doing anything, and demanding justice, a group of peasant farmers from L’Estère descend on Gonaïves to find the people responsible for the violence of November 29, 1986 and bring them to justice.

Additional background on the Artibonite Rice Wars.

Rice Wars, Artibonite: Interview with Prefect and Public Prosecutor in Gonaïves, 2 Dec. 1986

SoundCloud Ultimate Error: Could not display your SoundCloud track - Error code (401).

Download: Conflit Estère/ Artibonite Interview, Préfet, Commissaire

DESCRIPTION

Interview with the prefect of the Gonaïves Arrondissement in the Artibonite, about the ongoing conflict between people from the city of Gonaïves and the smaller town of L’Estère. For the past three months, US rice arriving at the port in Gonaïves has been underselling rice grown in the Artibonite. People from L’Estère, frustrated, unable to sell their rice and facing unemployment, have been blocking trucks from Gonaïves carrying US rice and jettisoning it. Rice growers in L’Estère claim that the US rice is contraband. In response, people from Gonaïves have blocked trucks carrying rice grown in L’Estère to the north of Haiti. The situation grows increasingly violent when militant groups from Gonaïves go to L’Estère, ransacking and burning homes and businesses; one man is killed. There are violent reprisals against peasants from the Artibonite living in Gonaïves; their homes are ransacked and several women are raped. The journalist asks whether the prefect had warning that people from Gonaïves were going to commit these acts of violence. The prefect continues to claim that he is but one man and cannot control the masses, because “now we have democracy.”

Interview with the Gonaïves public prosecutor about why the arrest order against the Gonaïves aggressors has been retracted. On December 2, there was an order for the arrest of several men (including Jean Tatoune), for looting, armed robbery, rape, arson, and murder, which was then withdrawn when the prosecutor received anonymous threats against his personal safety. He requested but did not receive reinforcements. He claims to be awaiting new orders.

Additional background on the Artibonite Rice Wars.