Face à l’Opinion: Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine on Justice, Impunity and Memory in the Aftermath of the Coup Years, 16 Dec. 1997

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Face à l’Opinion: Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine sou Jistis, Inpinite ak Memwa Aprè Ane Koudeta yo, 16/12/1997 (1)

Face à l’Opinion: Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine sou Jistis, Inpinite ak Memwa Aprè Ane Koudeta yo, 16/12/1997 (2)

DESCRIPTION

From 1995 to 2000, the Fondation 30 septembre led weekly demonstrations throughout the country demanding justice for victims of the 1991-1994 military coup. Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, human rights defender, psychologist and founder of the group, discusses the Fondation’s battle against impunity and forgetting, the process of documenting the victims and their testimonies, with particular emphasis on seeking justice and reparations for the victims of Raboteau and other massacres. Ten years after this interview, in August 2007, Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine disappeared under mysterious circumstances; his body was never found. Interview Jean Dominique.

 

“It is a battle of memory against forgetfulness, because we think that we cannot build the democracy we want for this country if we continue to erase what happened. It is impossible. It is impossible.” – Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine

***

“We believe that we must say that the work we are doing is not just for the dead. We are doing this work for those who had loved ones who were victims – the relatives of the victims – and for the victims who survived. And for the entire population, so they don’t forget what happened. Because this represents a huge danger to us, to our society, if society forgets what happened. We risk living through it again. And who can claim, today, that Haiti is immune to another coup d’état? Who can claim, today, that society has set up barriers to a coup d’état ever happening in this country again?” – Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine

***

Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine: Forgetting is not democratic. Forgetting is something that encourages, that favors the executioners. When we forget, it’s like we’re signing a blank check over to the executioners.

Jean Dominique: What you mean by that, Lovinsky, is that when victims forget, when society forgets, the executioners can repaint their faces, make themselves over to appear to be just like newborn babies, like innocents, and with that mask of innocence, they can get themselves in a place where they can start all over again. That’s what you’re saying.

Face à l’Opinion: Rodolfo Mattarollo: OAS/UN Report on Human Rights in the Coup Years , 11 Oct. 1999

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Face à l’Opinion: Rodolfo Mattarollo: Rapò OEA/ONU sou Dwa Moun an Ayiti, 11/10/1999 (1)

Face à l’Opinion: Rodolfo Mattarollo: Rapò OEA/ONU sou Dwa Moun an Ayiti, 11/10/1999 (2)

DESCRIPTION

Rodolfo Mattarollo discusses the results of an OAS/UN report on the state of human rights, justice, and impunity in Haiti in the aftermath of the coup d’état and the brutal regime of Raoul Cédras (1991-1994), during which an untold number of people were killed, disappeared, raped, and tortured. Mattarollo focuses on the need to establish and document the truth – which is particularly complicated in Haiti, because so many of the victims were poor, anonymous peasants – and on having solid judicial structures and legal institutions in the fight against impunity. He speaks particularly of the Raboteau massacre of 1994, in which military forces gunned down pro-Aristide demonstrators in the Raboteau neighborhood of Gonaïves. Mattarollo, who was exiled from his homeland of Argentina during that country’s military regime, was lawyer, human rights defender, and Adjunct Executive Director of the International Civilian Mission in Haiti (MICIVIH) from 1996 to 2000. As the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) ambassador to Haiti from 2010, Dr. Matarollo provided active support to the plaintiffs in the judicial case against former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier.  Interview Jean Dominique.

For more information: Rodolfo Mattarollo: Rien n’a été en vain (in French)

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

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Download: Dezòd nan Gonayiv

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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.

 

 

One-Year Commemoration of the Killings of “Twa Flè Lespwa” in Gonaïves, Featuring Venel Remarais, 27 Nov. 1986

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Download: Entèvyou Venel Remarais 27/11/86, 3 flè lespwa

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Journalist Venel Remarais speaks with J.J. Dominique on the one-year anniversary of the Nov. 28, 1985 attacks on protestors in Gonaïves by “soldiers and macoutes,” in which three schoolchildren were shot and killed and many other civilians injured.  Venel Remarais worked at the time for the Catholic radio station Radio Soleil, which was ordered closed by the Duvalier regime in 1985.

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

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Download: Zafè Gonayiv Lestè 4/12/86

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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: Grassroots Leaders’ and Farmers’ Perspective, 1 Dec. 1986

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Download: Lagè Diri 1/12/86

DESCRIPTION

Interview with farmers and leaders of grassroots peasant organizations in L’Estère (Artibonite) on the violence that occurred when people from Gonaïves broke down the barricades against imported US rice on Nov 29, 1986 killing one and wounding others. They speak of the “invasion” of US rice that has undersold local rice and destroyed their livelihood, and claim that the local government is not doing its job in protecting the peasants or bringing the attackers to justice.

Additional background on the Artibonite Rice Wars.

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

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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.