Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

BAI Call for Independent Investigation in La Saline Massacre

December 6, 2018
The Bureau of International Lawyers  (BAI) demands a committee of truth and justice to form an independent investigation of the massacre against the impoverished inhabitants of the peoples’ district of La Saline, within the indifference of the “government of the Notary Jean Henry Ceant.”
The BAI, in its primary mission to defend the rights of the most deprived citizens – inalienable rights, guaranteed and inherent to human beings, in particular those victims of State terrorism, of cholera imported by MINUSTAH (UN Mission deployed after the 2010 earthquake), of women and girls, victims of rape and sexual assaults – emphatically denounces the irresponsible behaviour of the government of notary Jean Henry Ceant.  The investigation is in regard to the massacres perpetrated against the inhabitants of poor neighborhoods since this government’s  presence in the Prime Minister’s office, particularly the massacre that happened on the 13th of November, 2018 at La Saline, an area located to the west of Port-au-Prince, adjacent to the port, during which many people died, women were raped, houses were pillaged and thousands of people were driven from their homes.
The “Foundation Je Klere,” which published a report on the massacre last November 16, described the following:

  1. Between 15 and 25 people were murdered.
  2. At least seven women were raped.
  3. More than 15 houses were ransacked.

In this report, the aforementioned foundation wants us to believe that the slaughter of November 13 is the result of an old rivalry between two groups for control of the Croix-des-Bossales Market, and that this rivalry was exacerbated by a macabre scene between partisans and adversaries of those in control.  This explanation does not hold up to reasonable thought for the following reasons:

  1. the report made on the state of the two rival groups competing for control of the Market did not list the number of deaths on each side.This omission is proof that the dead came from only one side.  In this case, the thesis of confrontation/rivalry does not hold up.
  2. Furthermore, the report did not say which side had ransacked houses.Clearly, the victims are from one side – those of the population reduced to extreme poverty by the moral and intellectual impoverishment of their leaders.
  3. The coincidence is risky – the adversaries and the partisans of power manipulate, at the same time, the same population for their own purposes.If this explanation turned out to be true, civil war in the city would already exist with this gratuitous slaughter.

So far, public authorities, for whom the poor of the slums have no importance, play deaf and dumb so as to minimize the scope of the massacre.  This behaviour begs the question:  When will the next carnage happen?
The BAI notes that the government, via the address to the nation made by monsieur Jovenel Moise, comes after the country’s incapacity to act during the last week, and did not discuss the massacre, despite barbaric scenes showing cadavers shredded by pigs, filmed, photographed and published on social media.  This shocking silence allies itself with a campaign of banalisation of the lives of people from humble roots.  What is worse, is that the degrading Commissary of Government by the Tribunal of the First Instance of Port-au-Prince, Me Clame Ocnam DAMEUS, was so quick to order and participate in the destruction of houses of the Grand Ravine of the presidential family at Pelerin 5 in the same way as their forced expulsion from the premises, interpreting the silence from Monsieur Jovenel MOISE as an order. He reacted with the silence of a cemetary in the context of the massacre.  Clearly, there is two-tiered/two-speed justice system, led by the sorcerer of the Presidential Palace.
The contempt of the key power players concerning the barbarism resulting in such loss of life at La Saline indicates the commission of a Crime of State.  Obviously, the murders in La Saline are crimes of the powerful Tet Kale against the poor of the slums, for having asked:  “KOTE KOB PETWO KARIBE A.” (Where is the Petro Caribe money?)
Faced with this situation of trivializing the life of poor people in contempt of Article 19 of the Constitution (1987), BAL is shocked and demands an independent investigation through a committee of justice or truth on this massacre which, it stands to reason, will reveal a crime against humanity.
BAI reminds Notary Jean Henry Ceant that he considers himself to be the Prime Minister, and therefore the chief of the National Police (CSPN).  As such, BAI believes that he must also have the responsibility of diligently conducting an investigation to establish the facts, in order to facilitate legal action that will result in a trial of political criminals, acting with complete impunity, commonly referred to as “bandi legal.”  Otherwise, the Notary Jean Henry Ceant,  by his complaisant and complicit inaction will be held responsible for the massacre, conforming to Haitian law and international conventions signed and ratified by the Haitian State.
Mario JOSEPH, Av Bureau des Avocats Internationaux

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