Face à l’Opinion: Gilles Danroc on Justice, Peace, and Everyday Repression Under the Military Regime, 1991-1994, 10 July 1995

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Face à l’Opinion: Gilles Danroc sou Jistis, Lape, ak Represyon Kotidyèn anba Rejim Militè, 1991-1994, 10/8/1995 (1)

Face à l’Opinion: Gilles Danroc sou Jistis, Lape, ak Represyon Kotidyèn anba Rejim Militè, 1991-1994 (2)

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Belgian priest, writer, and human rights activist Gilles Danroc headed the “Commission Justice et Paix” the human rights arm of the Catholic Church in Haiti, in 1995. In the Dossier répression au quotidien en Haiti, written with Daniel Roussière, he assesses the situation of everyday repression of civilians under the Cédras military regime of 1991-1994, with particular attention to the repression of peasants in the Artibonite/Gonaïves region, the state of rule of law and addresses issues of freedom, justice, reconciliation and poverty. Danroc argues that Haitian society is structured on repression and terror, and the subsequent voluntary silencing and forgetting of that repression, and that reconciliation will only be possible if there is an active search for truth and justice. Interview Jean Dominique.

“Reconciliation, in my opinion, is when a society has accepted the truth and desires justice. A people without memory, they are not a people at all. So if Haiti wants to have a future, it must have a memory that is structured, solid, clear, and luminous.” – Gilles Danroc

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“Reconciliation cannot happen without rule of law. Law — the constitution — is higher than mere power. It’s not power that makes the law, it’s the law that makes power.” – Gilles Danroc

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)

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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

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“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

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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)

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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)