Face à l’Opinion: Magalie Marcelin and Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassègue on Violence Against Women, 19 Nov. 1997

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Face à l’Opinion: Magalie Marcelin ak Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassègue sou Vyolans kont Fanm 19/11/1997 (1)

Face à l’Opinion: Magalie Marcelin ak Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassègue sou Vyolans kont Fanm 19/11/1997 (2)

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Feminist leaders Magalie Marcelin (the founder of the women’s rights organization and women’s shelter, Kay Fanm, who died in the January 12, 2010 earthquake) and Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassègue (former Minister of Women’s Affairs and former Minister of Culture and Communications) speak about violence against women. The speakers explain that violence against women goes beyond rape and physical violence: it is systematic, and has to do with how men are socialized, with power relations, and the structure of the justice system in Haiti. They discuss efforts to reform the justice system to hold perpetrators accountable and to encourage long-silenced women to speak up about gender-based violence. Interview Jean Dominique.

“Yes, it’s a question of power. When we say it’s a question of power, that means who has the power to make decisions, who has the power to exercise their will as they please, who has the power to make others respect their authority.” – Magalie Marcelin

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“There is a banalization, and that banalization is not at all banal, Jean. The sense in which it is not banal is that it is a tool that is in place to maintain the status quo.” – Magalie Marcelin

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“When we speak of violence against women, and the court system against violence against women, that’s a court that exists to save women, and to save men, too, in that sense that they will become more human.” – Magalie Marcelin

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

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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.