Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haiti inmates call prison riot a massacre Officials say 10 died — detainees insist guards killed dozens

By  Reed Lindsay, Chronicle Foreign Service January 2, 2005 Port-au-Prince, Haiti — As U.N. peacekeepers came under heavy gunfire erupting around the national palace during last month’s visit by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, the smoke billowing from the penitentiary a few blocks away barely registered. On Dec. 1, prisoners in a three-story cell block called the Titanic rioted, breaking free from their cells, setting fire to mattresses and brandishing water pipes as weapons. Prison guards called in a special police unit that helped put down the riot. Officials said seven prisoners were killed during the riot, and three of the 40 who were injured have since died of their wounds. But prisoners and other witnesses contend the government is concealing a bloodbath in which police and prison guards killed dozens of detainees. “I saw everything,” said Ted Nazaire, 24, […]

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