Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Thousands march in Haiti demanding end to reign of terror

by Dave Welsh – Haiti Action Committee What is the reality of Haiti under foreign occupation today? Right-wing death squads, working in tandem with Canadian-trained Haitian Police, continue to ravage with impunity the pro-Lavalas neighborhoods that make up the majority of Haiti’s capital city. No one is disarming the death squads or bringing them to justice. The 9,000 Brazilian and other U.N. troops and tanks continue to fire heavy weapons into densely-populated civilian areas, and U.N. Special Envoy Edmond Mulet has vowed to intensify these operations. Residents believe their neighborhoods are targeted because they are considered bastions of support for the Lavalas movement of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The resistance that will not die On September 30th thousands of pro-democracy activists marched to the US consulate in Port-au-Prince, demanding an end to this reign of terror. Slogans denounced members of […]

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 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 […]

Delegation of media directors and civil society representatives unable to meet with Yvon Neptune

Port-au-Prince, 20 July 2006 (AHP) � A delegation of media directors and other civil-society personalities tried in vain on Thursday to visit former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune in the National Penitentiary located in the neighborhood of Pacot. Yvon Neptune has been on hunger strike for 15-months, that is to say since the tenth month of his incarceration by the interim regime following allegations he was implicated in the alleged massacre at �la-Scierie� in the municipality of Saint-Marc (97 kms to the north of the capital). Representatives of the National Penitentiary Administration (APENA) refused access to the group of journalists visiting the prison because a number of them were armed with cameras. The secretary general of the Group Defending Political Prisoners (GDP), Ronald St. Jean who was coordinating this visit, denounced the position of APENA. According to Mr. St. Jean the […]

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 […]

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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