Stop the "Lavalas cleansing" - the Genocide in Haiti

Stop the "Lavalas cleansing" - the Genocide - in Haiti by Marguerite Laurent

An October 15, 2004 Flashpoint interview by Dennis Berstein informed us the morgue in Haiti is full to capacity. At least 600 Haitians are dead in the last 2-weeks in Port-au-Prince alone. This is not counting the more than 3,000 already killed since February 29, 2004 or, the bodies dumped on street corners, from 20 to 30 a day, or found under trash dumps. (See, "Haitian Lavalas Activist Calls for Solidarity"
By Benjamin Melancon

It doesn't begin to describe the horrific repression, the 350,000 internal Haitian refugees in Haiti avoiding the Latortue/Gousse regime and former military and paramilitary witch-hunts, the arrests in Bel Air, Cite Soleil, Delma, Martissants, or Father Gerald Jean-Juste's arrest while feeding 600 starving and malnourished children, or, the countless who have simply disappeared all over the country. The situation is grim enough, but the U.S.-backed Haitian Gestapo leaders, the de facto Minister of "Justice" Gousse, and the un-elected Latortue may have a goal as to how many Haitians to kill in order to maintain their power.

One report is that Gousse and Latortue are aiming for at least 25,000 deaths in Port-au-Prince alone in order to break the back of the 90 percent of Haiti's population (who support Lavalas) calling for the return to the rule of law and their voted-for democracy. See, in addition to the Flashpoint interview below (referring to the 600 dead, the human rights reports on our website, on, the October, 2004 Pax Christie reports, and the Black Commentator interview, where we find that ( , A Clandestine Interview from Haiti: Resistance in the Slums of Port-au-Prince ) :

"In a secret meeting he had with the Minister of justice, a friend inside heard Latortue estimate that it would be necessary to kill 25,000 people in the capital, in the capital alone to stop the calls for the return of President Aristide. September 30th was the beginning of this initiative where Latortue unleashed his forces that are comprised of new units of SWAT, USP, CIMO and the police where the killers of the former military had already been integrated. It was they who began firing on unarmed demonstrators while the Brazilians and the United Nations stood by to let them kill us...."  (Quoted from A  Clandestine Interview from Haiti: Resistance in the Slums of Port-au-Prince , The Black Commentator, , October 14 2004, Issue 109 )  

Latortue, whose dictatorship came to power through murder, beheadings of the authorized Haitian police and the killing of Coup d'etat resisters, has blamed everybody but his illegitimate rule for the current resistance to tyranny of the Haitian majority.

Guy Philippe and Andre Apaid, Jr's beheading of Haiti's legitimate democracy, with the overt and covert support of the U.S./France/Canada could not possibly be what led to Haiti's current destruction and total destabilization? Not according to the generally distorted reports we read in the embedded and mainstream media.

AP, Reuters, the New York Times and such other "credible" papers are still reporting "it's Lavalas!" (90% of Haiti's Black majority are Lavalas) that's responsible for the "destabilization" in Haiti. It's Lavalas they all have reported, with no evidence, killing the Haitian police at the protest demonstrations, particularly on September 30, 2004. Not many have reported the killings of unarmed demonstrators on May 18, 2004 by Haitian police while the Marines stood idly by, the March 2004 Marines/Haitian police massacre in Bel Air, the Marines hooding and manacling of Haitian children as young as 5-years old on May 10, 2004 during the arrest of famous Haitian folk singer, humanitarian, and grandmother, Annette (So Ann) Auguste.

Even some with credible credentials in the "progressive" Justice and Peace movement are still busy discussing "the reasons for the Coup d'etat in Haiti" while Haitians die and die and die, get arrested, raped, psychologically traumatized (over 3,000 killed by the Coup d'etat regime and their armed cohorts since February, 2004, not counting this October killings). One has to ask, when did violence, human rights violations and force become a good "policy instrument" for solving internal political grievances against a constitutional government? Why the double standards in Haiti?

The silence of the Justice and Peace movement in the U.S. is resounding as Haiti's poor suffer their livelihoods, literacy programs trashed, their nation's youth television and radio programs shut down, their properties burnt, defiled, ransacked, stolen. One has to ask, when did violence, human rights violations and force become a good "policy instrument" for solving internal political grievances against a constitutional government? Why the double standards in Haiti?

None in the mainstream media and not very many in the progressive Peace and Justice community have widely reported on Haiti's peoples' blatant displacement from their homes, universities, high schools and health centers to make way for former Haitian military and para-military or for U.S./UN troop barracks. (Except, that is, with the notable exception of our honorees, the foreign journalist who are, for now, Haiti's light bearers. See a list of these journalist honorees and within the slide, click on the bottom icon for a sample of our Journalist Certificate of Recognition for speaking-truth-to-power at: )

Just recently Latortue's U.S.-installed regime started again to blame President Aristide from South Africa, even President M'beki, and the impoverished Haitian majority from Bel Air, Delma 2, Martissant, Lasaline, Cite Soleil et al, for the countries state of unrest. Latortue never mentions the role of the FRAPH death squads and former Haitian military, who control most of the country outside of Port-au-Prince. Fact is, the Chilean commander in Cap Haitien has stated that U.N. troops are  now "working together," have an "informal agreement" with the remnants of the Haitian ex-military. Thus, on October 15, 2004, they were seen working side-by-side, on the streets of Cap Haitien, putting up roadblocks and barricades to stop the Haitian people from continuing to peacefully come out to protest the Coup D'etat, the killings, the arbitrary arrest and demanding the return of their duly elected government.  

The U.N. (MINUSTAH) Military Commander in Port-au-Prince, Lt. Gen. Augusto Heleno Ribeiro has also entered the "it's Lavalas" blame game and denials of the realities. He's blaming Presidential candidate Kerry for the protests and killings in Haiti. According to the Brazilian General Heleno Ribeiro, the current people's resistance in Haiti are because of a remark Presidential Kerry made seven months ago, on March 7, 2004 where Kerry is reported to have said he would have supported the Constitutional government not supported its ouster.

Lt. Gen. Augusto Heleno Ribeiro false and offensive remarks imply, what? That Haitians don't know that the effort to force neoliberal ("the death plan") policies, otherwise known as "globalization", on their country, not participatory democracy, has been a fairly partisan and very transnational corporation, IMF/World Bank economic effort? That somehow Haitians expect a Democratic presidency to change course without Haitians struggling alongside their pro-people-over-profit friends in the U.S. citizenry to have it be so. That those brainless Haitians, who were summarily disenfranchised by the Bush administration on Feb. 29, 2004, would not have had the gumption to resist their oppression, would not be protesting and asking for the return of their elected government, such lofty ideas as the right to self-determination, and respect for their ballot box, could not have possibly entered these Haitians small and inferior brains if Kerry hadn't given them hope their elected Haitian president would be able to return to power.! One supposes there is not a chance whatsoever that Lt. Gen. Augusto Heleno Ribeiro's racist remark would be challenged by Kofi Annan, Colin Powell, Condi Rice or anyone else at either the UN or the OAS! Unlikely.

The Brazilian general's statement reminds one of Luigi Einaudi's (now the head of the OAS!) statement, made on December 31, 2004, before the Coup d'etat, during Haiti's bi-centennial celebration, where he said, in front of a listening audience in the lobby of the Hotel Montana, that "“The problem with Haiti is that the international community is so screwed up and divided that they are letting Haitians run Haiti.’   (See, also, One Man's democracy is another man's chains: The untold story of Aristide's departure from Haiti, The Black Commentator, Issue 105, September16 2004, )

The article , "One Man's democracy is another man's chains..." is one of the best and most thorough accounts of the OAS/US/EU machinations that led to the overthrow of Haiti's democracy.

I too was present at that hotel lobby in Port-au-Prince when Luigi Einaudi of the OAS made his infamous remark about the necessity for a Coup d'etat in Haiti, about how horrible it was that "Haitians were running Haiti." The subject article unravels fairly well the Latortue/Haitian army noose being secured around Haiti's Liberty and how the 2004 Coup d'etat, the insane bloodletting Haitians have suffered this year, was orchestrated and implemented by the Western powers.

These, the OAS/EU/UN are the "international community" Haiti's poor majority are faced with while the reconstructed Haitian army shoot them, beat them, arrest them and fill the morgue with their love ones.....

Caricom and Venezuela, are among the Haitian peoples few democratic allies in the region. They too have been pressured and even blamed, especially when President Aristide was in Jamaica, for fomenting violence and destabilizing the imported Latortue regime. Today, Latortue and his handlers and forces are scapegoating South Africa, Presidential candidate Kerry, the unarmed Haitian majority (over 3,600 killed since he was installed) for his own regime's inability to secure peace and stability in Haiti. Neither Kofi Annan, Colin Powell, the OAS, France, Canada nor the US administration have denounce the thugs, convicts, felons and sweatshop kingpins after they brought Latortue's dictatorship rule to Haiti. The victims in Haiti, the poor Haitian majority, we are to understand are the perpetrators to blame for this unbelievably grim juncture of Haitian life.

Latortue is on record as identifying the coup leaders as "freedom fighters." Today, Latortue's freedom fighters - the thugs, fugitives, drugdealers and rapists - have simply put on the police uniforms of the Constitutional officers (95% of whom are dead or have been fired) who they murdered in their quest for the power in Haiti. (A power they could not legitimately earn at the ballot box. ) These are the people "policing" Haiti along side the U.N. troops. The people now arresting Haitian priests, activists like 69-year folk-singer and grandmother -So Ann, Haitian parliamentarians, and other civilians with absolutely no history of violence or criminal convictions.  

In Gonaives, as much as 3,000 Haitians have senselessly died in the floods, seventy times more people than anywhere else in the Caribbean, than in  Puerto Rico, Barbados, the Dominican Republic and the U.S. where the Jeanne hit as a full hurricane. But it only killed a total of 34 people in all those places combined.  She was only a tropical storm when 3,000 Haitians in Gonaives were killed. The massive damage in Haiti is in great part because of the U.S.-supported Coup d'etat in Haiti. For, there was no government in place, beholden to the people of Haiti, to urge they evacuate or warn them to get to higher ground. Haiti constitutional government's emergency warning system and procedure had been gutted.

What are the Haitian people going to do about the imported Latortue regime's recklessness in not even trying to evacuate them from harms way? What? Vote them out? Oh yeah, they were selected, not elected.

3,000 Haitians had already been killed in Mapou, Fond Verrettes and the Southeastern regions of Haiti because of torrential rains back in May, 2004. But, there, in Gonaives and the Lartibonite area, Latortue's very own "freedom fighters" are today stealing aid food and international crisis supplies from the grief stricken victims of tropical storm Jeanne.

But, knowing all this, the Brazilian general tells the world that Haitians wouldn't be protesting in Port-au-Prince today, nor perhaps even in Gonaives and Cap Haitien, in fact all over Haiti, if Presidential candidate Kerry hadn't made a remark against Bush seven months ago!

The reality the Haitian people are faced with, in this, our bi-centennial year, is insane, surreal, horrific. Nonetheless, our pain mounts some more notches. The Haitian people are struggling without the help of the powerful, like in 1804 when our ancestors, after 300-years of European enslavement, broke their own chains and destroyed the myth of white superiority. For that we continue to stand alone, struggling to finish our revolution so that there is participatory democracy, sustainable development, equal rights , justice and peace in Haiti. But our enemies are powerful and well-financed. Their current overseers in Haiti, the de facto Minister Gousse and imported Latortue are aiming to increase Haiti's sufferings to 25,000 dead. What else can we do except, once again, urge whoever is left in the international community out there with any sense or principle at all, to help us stop this genocide in Haiti.

When will the progressive peace and justice movement in the United States turn its powerful eye towards the plight of Haitians in Haiti and articulate and show Haitians the sort of compassion it's shown for the Iraqi people's plight against U.S. imperialism?  When will they admit no political grievance, especially by a tiny elitist few, justifies the violent overthrow of a Constitutionally elected government. That there is no civilized  foothold or foundation to built-up from out of the deep quicksands of a Coup d'etat? When?

When the Latortue government takes "the Haitian national stadium and turn it into a penitentiary so they can imprison the 90 percent of the population who represent Lavalas." (See, statement made by one of the last remaining free Haitian woman warriors still left standing, who traveled from Haiti, to speak before the Million Workers March in Washington on October 17, 2004)

How long before all of Haiti's pro-democracy voices are silenced by Haiti's current Gestapo and its morally repugnant and tragic Black elites/overseers, who are busy selling Haitians to foreign "investors", even now, at below the current lawful but unbearably low Haitian minimum wage. (See, article entitled "Industrialists proud boast: Use a Haitian Sweatshop - We pay our

workers next to nothing by Julius Bergmann " at Centre des Médias alternatifs du Québec - CMAQ ; See also Rudolf and Reginal Boulos' presentation, during a fair of the Electrical Manufacturers' Expo, in Indianapolis on the site of the Haiti Democracy Project. If you have PowerPoint, go to:

Haitians have no choice but to shake off their grief and move on, resisting dictatorship. We have faith in our ability to overcome overwhelming odds. We also still must have faith in our fellow travelers in this earthly journey. For, even though we have been let down over and over again, we shall continue to call on the international community to denounce the current repression and dictatorship in Haiti.

We ask all the worlds peoples, from the powerful presidents of the Western Powers to the simple voter, to demand the release of Father Gerald Jean Juste, So Ann, Prime Minister Yvon Neptune and the other political prisoners in Haiti. Martin Luther King said if one of us is in bondage that is the business of all. So no matter your race, nationality, religion or relative power we ask even our detractors, but especially our pro-democracy friends, supporters and citizens, from all over this global village, to take the time and denounce this coup d'etat, to search for the truth hidden behind the headlines. To go, if possible, to Haiti and talk to the Haitian people the mainstream media can't seem to see at all. The people in the Pax Christie report. ( )

Then, call your governments, your Congresspeople and urge them to send official delegations to Haiti immediately to help release Haiti's political prisoners and stop the Lavalas cleansing - the most disturbing pattern and single-minded focus on arresting, imputing crimes and killing primarily Lavalas voices in Haiti. This pattern is continuing even under the new U.N/Brazilian led troops, as evidence by their participation in the current hunt into Bel Air, La Saline, Dema 2, Martissant and throughout Haiti's poor districts. Haitians only have a few more months in this bi-centennial year to reverse this absolute disenfranchisement. Raise your voice with the pro-democracy, grassroots movements in Haiti and abroad. Denounce the Coup d'etat and neo-liberal policies that are making the poorest in Haiti even more intolerably poor. Prices for rice and foodstuff has gone up 100% since the coup d'etat.

Write to your local and national media. Attach the October 2004 (Part I and Part II) of the Report of Pax Christi USA Human Rights Mission to Haiti to your letter (

Contact information for your local and national media outlets, the OAS and may easily be found by going to our website at:  and below at Additional Contact Information.

Write to the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations  ( ), the  Brazilian MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATION (  ); the U.N. Chief of Communications in Haiti:  TouissantKongo-Doudou at

Demand that the Brazilian general, who made the belittling and racist remarks about an entire nation, be either removed or admonished to do the stated work for which he was sent to Haiti, that is, to stop the bloodshed, stabilize Haiti by disarming the former Haitian military and paramilitary who overthrew Haiti's Constitutional government. The Brazilian general was not sent to Haiti to campaign for President Bush's re-election. Nor is he there, as MINUSTAH's Military Commander in Haiti, to help the bloody Haitian military and paramilitary stop peaceful demonstrators from exercising their civil rights and peacefully protest the Latortue government's rule and brutal repression.

Please ask your Congresspeople to call Ambassador James Foley and the UN Officials in Haiti! Call on Secretary of State Colin Powell at the US State Department in Washington, call the State Department (Haiti desk) and contact your Senators and Representatives. Call early and call often. (See further contact info below.)

Demand an end to the brutal repression and persecution of pro-democracy activists and the immediate release of all the  political prisoners.

U.S. Ambassador to Haiti: James B. Foley
PHONE: 011.222.0200 OR 011.222.0354
FAX: 011.509.223-9038 OR 011.509.223.1641

Call and write to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)
 PHONE: 011.509.244.9650.9660
FAX:      011.509.244.9366/67

 ** 1. Kofi Annan's Special UN Envoy to Haiti: Mr. Juan Gabriel Valdes

** 2. UN Military Commander in Haiti: Lt. General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro
** 3. UN Commissioner for Human Rights in Haiti

Please Fax the MINUSTAH office Attention to the 3 listed above.  Better yet, send 3 separate letters addressing them individually.

Also:  Eduardo Bertoni, the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

The world's peoples may no longer remain silent, must speak up against this genocide in Haiti.

Lunyon fe la fos. In our union there's power.

Marguerite Laurent. Esq.
Founder and Chair Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
October 20, 2004


Kofi Annan
Secretary General
United Nations
New York, NY USA

Ambassador James B. Foley
U.S. Embassy, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
phone: 509.223.7011 or 509.222.0200
fax: 509.223.9665
Address and additional phones

Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State
fax: 202.647.2283 or 202.647.5169
phone: 202.647.5291 or 202.647.7098
email: contact here

Haiti Desk Officers, U.S. State Department:
Joseph Tilghman
fax: 202.647.2901
phone: 202.647.5088

Lawrence Connell
fax: 202.647.2901
phone: 202.647.6765

Write your representative
Contact your congressional representatives by State at: Or, use the NYT
elected representative guide to get contact info on your U.S. Congressional rep by
zip code. Be sure to e-mail the mail the NY Times also.

Key Media Contacts

San Francisco Chronicle:
* Letters editor: (415) 777-7176 or (415) 543-7708 (fax)

Reuters: click on "contact us"
* American's Desk: (202) 898-8300 or (202) 898-8300

New York Times: Web online letter or eMail
* Foreign Desk: (212) 556-7415
* Reporters who write on Haiti: LYDIA POLGREEN and TIM WEINER

Associated Press:
or e-mail Ms. Paisley Dodd at
* International Desk: (212) 621-1663

Miami Herald
Letters to the Editor or eMail

Washington Times
* Foreign Desk: (202) 636-3222
* Reporter who writes on Haiti: Sibylla Brodzinsky

Washington Post
* Foreign Desk: (202) 334-7400
* Reporters who write on Haiti: Kevin Sullivan and Scott Wilson

LA Times
* Foreign Desk: (213) 237-4413
* Reporter who writes on Haiti: Carol J. Williams

* Foreign Desk: (212) 456-2800NBC
* Foreign Desk: (201) 583-5777CBS
* Foreign Desk: (212) 975-3019CNN
* International Desk: (404) 827-1519
* State Department Correspondent: Andrea Koppel (202)898-7515NPR
* Foreign Desk: (202) 513-2299

Key Congressional and Government Phone Numbers
* Congressional Switchboard - 800-839-5276 or 202-224-3121
* Nancy Pelosi - (SF) 415-556-4862; (DC) 202-225-4965
* Dianne Feinstein - (SF) 415-249-4777; (DC) 202-224-3841
* Barbara Boxer - (SF) 415-403-0100; (DC) 202-224-3553

* White House Comment line - 202-456-1111

* US State Department - 202-647-5291 or 202-647-7098(phone)
* 202-647-2283 or 202-647-5169 (fax)

Addresses for Letter to the Editor:

New York Times:
Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
fax (212)556-3622.

Washington Post:
Letters to the Editor
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20071

Associated Press:
Michelle Faul

National Public Radio
Comment Line: 202 513-3232 weekdays 10:00am-5:00pm
(sometimes they play these on the air).

Morning Edition:

All Things Considered:
send copies of all comments on reporting to


Boston Globe:
Letters to the Editor
The Boston Globe
P.O. Box 2378
Boston, MA 02107-2378
Or by fax to (617) 929-2098

Los Angeles Times:

Miami Herald:
The Readers' Forum
The Miami Herald
One Herald Plaza

Miami, Florida 33132-1693
Fax: (305) 376-8950
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Forwarded by the Haitian Lawyers Leadership

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