Face à l’Opinion: Agronomist Jean-Claude Delicé, Charles Suffrard, Anderson Charles on Agrarian Reform, 10 Jan. 2000

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Download: Face à l’Opinion: Agronòm Jean-Claude Delicé, Charles Suffrard, Anderson Charles sou Refòm Agrè, 10 janvye 2000 (1)

Face à l’Opinion: Agronòm Jean-Claude Delicé, Charles Suffrard, Anderson Charles sou Refòm Agrè, 10 janvye 2000 (2)

DESCRIPTION

An experiment in agrarian reform under the government of René Préval was short-lived but it carried the hopes of thousands of landless peasants. Following the devastation of Hurricane Georges in 1998, the government undertook land redistribution, drainage, dredging, irrigation and credit projects. However, the project faltered in part amid long-standing distrust of ODVA (Organization for the Development of the Artibonite Valley) by peasant farmers, as ODVA was historically seen as representing the interests of landowners rather than those of small farmers.  It also faltered because of accusations of patronage and favoritism.  In this interview, one of many done by Radio Haïti about agrarian issues, agronomist Jean-Claude Delicé (the general director of ODVA), and two members of small farmers associations, Charles Suffrard and Anderson Charles, discuss the goals and challenges of this agrarian reform project in the Artibonite Valley. Interview Jean Dominique.

Face à l’Opinion: Senator Samuel Madistin on Corruption and Peasant Demonstrations in the Artibonite, 17 Apr. 1996

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Download: Face à l’Opinion: Senatè Samuel Madistin sou Manifestasyon Peyizan ak Koripsyon ODVA nan Latibonit, 17 avril 1996 (1)

Face à l’Opinion: Senatè Samuel Madistin sou Manifestasyon Peyizan ak Koripsyon ODVA nan Latibonit, 17 avril 1996 (2)

DESCRIPTION

Outspoken and controversial Senator Samuel Madistin discusses the struggle and demonstrations of peasant farmers in the Artibonite who, since 1989, have lacked access to water for their crops. He blames inefficiency and corruption on the part of the Organisme du Développement de la Vallée de l’Artibonite (ODVA), Care, and PADF, which he describes as a “permanent plot against the peasants.” He also denounces the Plan National d’Éducation et de Formation (PNEF), because of a scholarship program that would require accepting loans from the Inter-American Development Bank that would not reinforce existing state structures. He criticizes privatization in general, especially as a condition of aid from the US. Madistin was a member of the OPL party, which at the time stood for Organisation Politique Lavalas. The following year, in 1997, it would break with Fanmi Lavalas and change its name to Organisation du Peuple en Lutte (Òganizasyon Pèp kap Lite). Interview Jean Dominique.

“Privatization and development are like milk and lemon. They don’t go together. They are like dogs and cats. That is my deep conviction.” – Samuel Madistin

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)

DESCRIPTION

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

 

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

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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: 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.