Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Half-Hour for Haiti: Justice For Grande Ravine (again)

Update: Good news first: there are now 64 co-sponsors to the Haiti Debt Relief Resolution, H.R. 888 in the U.S. House of Representatives. We only need 16 more to reach our target of 80, which should allow it to get to a vote before the House. Time is running out on this legislative session, so please call this week to urge your Representative to sign on to H.R. 888 (for more information, see last week�s Half-Hour for Haiti alert at www.ijdh.org). The bad news is that Esterne Bruner, coordinator of the Grand Ravine Community Human Rights Council (CHRC-GR), was assassinated Thursday morning, September 21, after he returned from a meeting to organize for justice for the 22 people killed in an attack in Grande Ravine last July 7. Mr. Bruner, age 36, was the father of six children, and a […]

by CHAN Five months after Haiti�s presidential election on February 7th, several thousand pre-trial detainees and political prisoners remain within Haiti�s horrid prisons. The list of political prisoners includes former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, folk-singer and activist So Ann Auguste, grassroots activist Paul Raymond, and well-known rara musician Yvon �Zap Zap� Antoine. The conditions inside the prisons are horrific. Prisoners in Haiti�s National Penitentiary, the country�s largest and most well-known prison, are often kept in unsanitary conditions with no access to medical care. Detainees are kept in over-crowded cells without lighting or ventilation, are sometimes barred access to washroom facilities, and are often beaten by prison guards during recreation times. Lavatory facilities are close to the prison�s water wells, raising concern about the contamination of water supplies. At a press conference held on April 6th, 2006, UN High Commissioner for […]

Gang Killings May Be Political, Washington Times, July 14, 2006

By Reed Lindsay, THE WASHINGTON TIMES July 14, 2006 Gang killings may be political � GRAND RAVINE, Haiti — The killings began before dawn. Gunmen walked through this hillside slum warning of a fire and yelling for residents to come out of their cinder block and sheet-metal shacks. Those who followed their advice were fatally shot. Hours later, morgue workers and United Nations’ peacekeepers piled corpses in one of the slum’s main thoroughfares, a rocky streambed at the bottom of the ravine for which this neighborhood is named. The body count totaled 21, including three women and four children. Most of the victims were killed execution-style with a single bullet to the head. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Jean Gabriel Ambrose, the Port-au-Prince justice of the peace. “What is shocking is that all of the victims appear to have […]

Half-Hour for Haiti: Alleged Killers Go Free While Political Prisoners Remain in Jail

March 14, 2006 On March 9, at least six police officers accused of participating in the the Grande Ravine Football Massacre were released on their personal recognizance (See Police Accused of Grande Ravine Massacre Released, Haitian Press Agency). The Football Massacre is one of the most brutal and notorious atrocities yet under the Interim Government of Haiti (IGH): on August 20, police and members of a paramilitary group called the Ti Lame Manchet– the Little Machete Army- attacked the crowd at a football (soccer) game, killing at least ten people, wounding dozens more. Haiti�s police initially denied the incident, but the internal affairs department did eventually conduct an investigation and issue a report implicating 20 officers in the massacre. �Relatives of massacre victims filed criminal complaints against both police and paramilitaries. Seven officers were placed under arrest, but not any […]

Police Accused of Grande Ravine Massacre Released

Association Haitienne de Presse March 10, 2006 1:40 PM Liberation of 7 of the higher executives and police officers accused of involvement in the Grand’ravine massacre: prisoners of opinion are rotting in prison Port-au-Prince, March 10, 2006 (AHP)- A former higher executive of the National Police of Haiti, Carlo Lochard, was temporarily released Thursday by judicial authorities. Carlo Lochard was released by Magistrate Jean P�rez Paul, while he waits for the definitive sentence. Carlo Lochard, Renan Etienne, two higher executives from the PNH and a dozen other agents of the police institution had been arrested following the investigation report from the general inspector mentioning their participation in the massacre perpetrated on August 20, 2005 in Grand-ravine (south of the capital), where over a dozen people were murdered. The police and the army called ” Ti Manch�t ” (small machetes), had […]

Gran Ravin Initiative: a Port-au-Prince Neighborhood Organizes for Peace

The Gran Ravin Initiative: a Port-au-Prince Neighborhood Organizes for Peace. On December 18, 2005 community leaders Jean Louis Colson (a.k.a. “Sason�) and Hazard Alexandre of the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Gran Ravin began a process to counter the violence affecting their community.� They called together about 500 residents to discuss the idea of working together for disarmament in their community and to begin a dialogue with neighboring communities to do the same.� Those in attendance at the December 18 meeting unanimously supported the �peace initiative� put forth and agreed that the Haitian human rights group AUMOHD (Association of University Students Motivated for a Haiti with Rights) would act as co-sponsor and facilitator of the process.� The organizers have already succeeded in convincing leadership in three neighboring communities to agree to a plan of cooperative disarmament, and AUMOHD has begun dialogue with […]

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