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: Anderson Charles, Jean François Germain, and Anosthène Eliscar on Peasant Organizations and Agricultural Policy in Haiti, 17 Jan. 1996

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Download: Face à l’Opinion: Anderson Charles, Jean Francois Germain, ak Anosthene Eliscar sou Mouvman Peyizan ak Politik Agrikòl an Ayiti (1)

Face à l’Opinion: Anderson Charles, Jean Francois Germain, ak Anosthene Eliscar sou Mouvman Peyizan ak Politik Agrikòl an Ayiti, 17/01/1996 (2)

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Three members of peasant organizations, Anderson Charles, Jean François Germain, and Anosthène Eliscar, discuss agricultural policy, the current situation of peasant farmers in Haiti, their dreams and goals, and the resources available to bring those dreams to fruition. They discuss, in particular, the problems facing national agricultural production as it is threatened and undersold by cheap imports from abroad, waste of resources, the abuse and exploitation of peasant farmers by big landowners, the seizure of peasant land and questions of land ownership, violence against peasants by the army and the National Police of Haiti (PNH), and the peasantry’s role in participatory democracy under Aristide. Interview Jean Dominique.

“If we had a private sector that was truly patriotic or nationalist, and would work on these things, it would let people take a break and breathe. That means creating a plan both for the peasant sector, and for city people, and we will be able to grow more food to eat, and in that way, we will no longer depend on imports from overseas.” — Jean-François Germain

 

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

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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.

Jean Rabel Massacre – Father Jean Rénald Clérismé, Nicol Poitevien, and Jean-Michel Richardson, 30 July 1987

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Download: Jean Rabel – Pè Jean Rénald Clérismé, Nicol Poitivien, ak yon moun enkoni kap defann grandon yo

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Part 1 (0:00 to 3:51): Father Jean Rénald Clérismé makes a hurried call to Radio Haiti-Inter about the terror faced by the peasant members of Tèt Ansanm in the area of Beauchamp near Jean Rabel. The peasants are afraid to sleep at home, because people come to their homes at night to threaten them.Uniformed aggressors are all over the area, looking for members of Tèt Ansanm and threatening them. They have forbidden Tèt Ansanm and Caritas to have meetings, they are pillaging the peasants’ goods, and they have burned down the house of an agronomist who works with Tèt Ansanm and threaten to burn down more peasant homes. Father Clérismé names the four principal aggressors. He says the worst part is that the Haitian Army is responsible for having sent them.

Part 2 (3:55-8:54) Interview with Nicol Poitevien, one of the landowners from Jean Rabel who is accused of being responsible for this violence. Poitevien claims that everyone’s got it wrong: it’s the members of Tèt Ansanm and specifically Father Jean-Marie Vincent who are responsible for the violence, not himself and the other local oligarchs. “The name ‘gwoupman’ is a nice name, but what they’re doing isn’t nice.’ Poitevien claims the peasants are being manipulated and used by “communist” Father Vincent.

Part 3 (8:56-15:00): Jean-Michel Richardson defends the Poitevien, Lucas, and Richardson landowners, claiming that Father Vincent’s missionary team has been organizing the peasants of Tèt Ansanm to engage in dechoukaj, burn down houses, and injure other peasants. He would like to have a press conference to present his proof of this, and says that for every ten peasants who are members of Tèt Ansanm, he’ll show you ten peasants who are victims of Tèt Ansanm.