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News :: Human Rights
AUMOHD Human Rights Report on Haiti's CENTRAL PLATEAU
05 Sep 2007
CENTRAL PLATEAU: Mirebalais-Lascaobas-Belladère
Former soldiers and armed civilians enjoy complete impunity
The Current situation of the Victims of Former Soldiers and Armed Civilians from 2002-2005
Click on image for a larger version

human4.jpg
August 2007
AUMOHD DWA MOUN
4, Delmas 47
509-429-7129
e-mail: presidentaumohd (at) yahoo.fr

SUMMARY
1. #Introduction
#2 Context of the report
#3 Quick geo-historical view of the Central Plateau
- Mrebalais
- Lascahobas
- Belladère
#4 Meetings August. 11, 2007
#4.1 Meetings in Belladère
#4.1.1 Workshops with the victims, Baptiste, Renthe Mathe and Roi Sec
#4.1.2Workshops with the victims of the town of Belladère, Pernal and Riaribes
#4.1.3 Workshops on the disappeared
4.2 Meeting at Lascahobas
4.3 Meeting with a representative of the press
5. Categories of Victims:
5.1 Assassinated by bullet, machete or other
5.2 Wounded and handicapped
5.3 Disappeared
5.4 Owners of burned houses
6. The most blatant cases:
6.1 The affiar of the family of Cléonor Souverain
6.2 The affair of Peligre
6.3 The affair of the Justice of the Peace in Lascahobas, Lozamard Christophe
6.4 The look-out of Roi Sec (4 employees of MICT were assassinated)
7.The principle presumed perpetrators, co-defendants and accomplices of these acts:
7.1 Guy Philippe
7.2 Jouis Jodel Chamblain
7.3 Opposition party of the period
8. The current situation
8.1 Justice
8.2 Security (Police, MINUSTAH, and the Disarmament Commission)
9. Rule of Law
9.1 Constitution of March 29, 1987
9.2 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
9.3 Interamerican Convention of civil and political rights
9.4 Haitian Penal Code
9.5 Code of Criminal Law
9.6 Others
10. Legal Papers giving proof
11. Conclusion and recommendations of AUMOHD


1. INTRODUCTION
In 2001 following the controversial elections which brought Aristide to power as President, two groups participated in an armed revolt against the power in place at that time: that of the Resistance Front of Gonaïves, led by Metayer (Butteur), Métayer Jean-Pierre Baptiste (dit Jean Tatoune) and Winter (Winter) Etienne, who launched the insurrection leading to the seizure of Gonaïves, February 5, 2004; the second called National Liberation Front which was direcdted by Guy Philippe and Louis-Jodel Chamblain, former head of FRAPH, whitewashed by the interim government of Boniface/Latortue by a trial judged to be ludicrous for the swiftness with which this case was treated in a self-serving and suspcious manner. This group consisted principally of former members of the Haitian Army, FADH, which slipped into Haiti from neighboring Dominican Republic with the complicity of this country and of offenders who committed very serious human rights violations in many parts of the country, notably in Belladère, Lascahobas (Pernal) and Mirebalais. In 2002 many cases of violations were reported in the commune of Belladère, Las Cohobas and mainly in the zone named Pernald.
Thus, the accused perpetrators, co-defendants, and accomplices of these acts have never appeared before court so that light might be shed on these cases of assassination, rape, burnings, and other crimes committed in full view of everyone by the former militaries directed by Gujy Philippe, Ravix Remissanthe, Louis Jodel Chamblain and/or by armed civilians funded by the former opposing party of the period. Thus a situation of great impunity reigns and consequently the victims are obliged to keep quiet to not be victimized again. The actual presence of the state in these zones has been non-existant, wiped out from 2001 until 2005. The courts, the police were impotent in the face of the weapons of the faithless and lawless assaillants.
One wonders for the sake of truth and justice for the victims how simple former miliatry men, simple armed civilians were able with such ease, with such effectiveness to commit so much damage unpunished to the point of putting the power of the State to rout, to buy weapons and ammunition (the business of the Eulalio Peralta Society) as high as $50,000 USD How were they able to cross over, circulate the entire length of the frontier without the least uneasiness, without a real collaboration by the Dominican authorities?
This report which is meant to be first of all objective must expose in a detailed fashion the concerns of AUMOHD (Association of University Grads For a Haiti With Law) with respect to the unacceptable situation of impunity which holds sway following the grave violation of human rights in the entire Deartment of the Center, notably the Central Plateau (Mirebalais-Lascahobas-Belladère) where people were assassinated, raped and or disappeared because of their political convictions. Others were robbed of their goods, or chased from their post with not proceedings.at all.
This report intends to analyse the different cases of human rights violations using the method of direct interviews with the victims, a relative, or a neighbor, or an eyewitness of a certain event, and also by category of victims. It intends to draw out in part or in whole the attention of the Haitan State by way of the current government to these flagrant violations of human rights which to this day remain unpunished. At the same time this report is intended to sensitize national and international organizations about these cases of the violation of fundamental rights of the people of Mirebalais, Lascahobas and Belladère with a view to demanding from the Haitian State some adequate solutions that will be able to remedy this situation. This report finally intends to present recommandations to the Haitian authorities concerning the urgent measures they ought to take so that the perpetrators, co-defendents, leaders and accomplices answer for their acts and that the victims indeminified and compensated in conformity to the law.


2. - Context of the report
Beginning Tuesday, May 8, 2007, AUMOHD received in its offices a letter from Mr. Cléonor Souverain in which he made us aware of the people who had been victimized by the former miliatry, and armed civilians, notably five (5) members of his family and another, Bertranjd Hussein seriously wounded and consequently handicapped. In this correspondance he also asked for AUMOHD’s intervention as an organization of rights and the dignity of the human person to meet the victims and families of victims to listen to their testimony in order to understand the breadth of impunity which ruled in this Department (Center), and consequently to bring these cases of flagrant violation of rights and the dignityh of the human person before the courts so that the perpetrators, co-defendents and accomplices of this crimes against common rights might be brought to justice to be judged according to the law.


3. - Geo-historic view of the Central Plateau: Mirebalais-Lascahobas and Belladère.
3.1 Mirebalais is a section of the Department of the Center of the country which includes 3 communes (Mirebalais, Saut d’Eau and Boucan Carre). It has about 60,000 inhabitants spread over a territory of 354 square kilometers. Historically Mirebalais and Lascahobas in 1795 were witness to the most bloody battles of Toussaint Louverture against the English who used these areas as strategic points of food supplies. Mirebalais has a District Court and a Police Station which are working under difficult circumstances according to the testimony of an employee who wishes to remain anonymous.
3.2 Lascahobas -
Lascahobas is situated betwee Mirebalais and Belladère. It is like Mirebalais a section which is comprised of three communes (Lascahobas, Belladère and Savanette). Lascahobas has a population of about 36,000 inhabitants and covers 233 square kilometers. The commune of Lascahoas has one Peace Court with two judges and two court clerks for the population of this size, and a police station with ten poor, badly equipped policemen.
3.3 Belladère -
Belladère is one of the border towns of the country. It has a population of 48,000 inhabitants with land of 322 square kilometers. Belladère has a Peace Court with two judges and a police station with not even minimal means for a border town which has no other military force for controlling or defending the territory.


4. Meeting August 11, 2007
Following different meetings for exchanging views and testimonies with the families of victims, a delegation from AUMOHD accompanied by a Canadian delegation of journalists and human rights advocates made a visit on site at Mirebalais, Lascahobas and Belladère on Saturday, August 11 with the principal purpose of collecting new information about the crimes and of confirming the news already collected. More than 100 victims participated in this meeting coming from different zones.

4.1 Meeting at Belladère
At the nightclub, L’Oiseau Mystérieux (Mysterious Bird), more than 00 from Baptiste, Renthe Mathe, Roi Sec, Pénal and Riaribes and other localities of Belladère were present to give testimony, to explain vividly and painfully how a father, a mother, an uncle, an aunt, a cousin, a husband, a wife, a friend or a neighbor had been assassinated, raped or disappeared by unknown men heavily armed, the majority of whom, according to their testimony, were soldiers demobilized having as their leader at first Remissanthe Ravix, Clautaire Jean Baptiste, Volatire Jean Baptiste alias Potille, and then later Guy Philippe and Louis Jodel Chamblain. Three workshops (i-with victims of Baptiste-Renthe Mathe and Roi Sec, ii- victims of the town of Belladère, Pernal and Riaribes, and iii. victims of disappearances who, after reporting to the delegation, formed to seek justice and reparation without recourse to violence or private vengeance. The objectivity and the truth are two fundamental elements indispensable for arriving at shedding just and clear light on these evil events which took place in the Central Plateau.


4.1.1. workshops with victims from Baptiste, Renthe Mathe and Roi Sec

Summary of statements of the workshop
* My name is Joël Paulas. I come from the 2nd Section of Roi Sec. I am very happy to see today, for the first time, a human rights organization is with us at Belladere after all these sad events. We at Belladere are the most scorned people, the most vulnerable in the Haitian State. What seems more grave to us is that after all these massacres, rapes, assassinations there is a contempt on the part of the State for us. Moreover there is no freedom of speech for us at this time, no security, no disarmament. The assailants, Guy Philippe are still present in the town, they are there, without being concerned about the courts or the police. Out of every 5 people you look at in the streets, two out of 3 are carrying a weapon. As for acess to justice in Belladere there is almost none. The demand from my workshop is addressed directly to President René Garcia Préval, the Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis in whom we have a lot of confidence in making reparartion for these crimes so that all the perpetrators and accomplices of these massacrews will answer in court for their acts.

* My name is St. Hilaire Vernet. I come from Renthe Mathe. I am a leader of Fanmi Lavalas in Belladere. I thank the AUMOHD delegation which has come to help us at this very difficult time. Mr. President of AUMOHD, gentlemen journalistes and the Canadian delegation of human rights, I do not want to beat around the bush in telling you that the assassins of these crimes are all here. They are in the Parliament as elected representatives or, security guards for representatives. They are in the city hall of Belladere. They were candidates for the Presidency. Except for Ravix (Remissanthe) and Clotaire (Jean-Baptiste) who are dead. We are asking President René Garvia Préval, Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis, Minister of Justice, Mr. René Magloire to take measures to correct this situation of impunity which is prevails here in Plateau Central.
* I am Philissaint Robert. I thank you in the name of the whole workshop and most of all in the name of those who were assassinated, the women who were raped, those who were disappeared. In our group we worked on the question of access to justice. We have concluded that justice was reduced to a minimum in 2002 until 2005 with the defacto government of Boniface/Latortue. The assassination of the Justice of the Peace at Lascahobas, Lozamard Christophe in the middle of doing his job is proof that the men with Guy Philippe had no limit to their fury against the people. Justice was and is to this day in extreme difficulty to act. Our workshop entreated the Minister of Justice, Atty. René Magloire to make a profound change within the judiciary of Mirebalais.


4.1.2 workshops of the victims of the center of town, of Pernal and of Riaribes

Summary of workshop #2
* I am Pierre Luca, workshop #2. The remarks of #2 workshop are that the rest of the country seems not to be aware of what has taken place here in Central Plateau. The extortion, the crimes, rape, and assassinations by the former military men and armed civilians of innocent persons. The workshop is very concerned about lodging a complaint against all those who participated in these crimes like Guy Philippe, Louis Jodel Chamblain and all the accomplices like the leaders of the former opposition party which financed and encouraged these crimes. In general in the Plateau there are many children without fathers, without mothers, lots of women without a husband, and what is worse is that there is no presence of the State to take care of these vulnerable children exposed to delinquency, stealing and prostitution. We ask that the Haitian State take responsability for punishing these criminals like Guy Philippe, Chamblain and their accomplices for their crimes.
* I am Pierre Cavil, the eyewitness of the assassination of Deputy Mayor of Savanette, Amongue Lema. I am ready and willing to explain to the police and the judge how they assassinated the Mayor provided the conditions of security are guaranteed. What we want is justice and reparation for the victims.

* I greet the members of the AUMOHD delegation. My name is Leonard Yonel. I come from Pernal, the place of the holocausts. It is the terrible, well known place of the terrorism of former soldiers. Pedel Colo, Amongue Lema, Pierre Marais, a businessman, Samedi Patrick, a SWAT policeman, Bernadeau Marjorie Jean Fritzner, and many other persons were caught, captured and killed in this place. We want an independent investigation of all these cases of the violation of human rights.


4.1.3 workshops of the families of victims who were disappeared.

This workshop discussed the disappeared or dead and executed leaving no trace. Look at the woman in the photo above at right, imagine the pain the anxiety and the waiting of this poor woman, Mrs. Jean Mesillia. Her husband, Bouton Exile was disappeard on March 14, 2003. He was taken from his home at Roi Los Puerc. Bouton Exile was 70 years old.


5 Partial list of the disappeared (2002-2004)
1. Guitoya Fede was taken from her home March 14, 2003 by the armed civilians at Roi Los Puerc. She was 60 years old. From the time of this abduction there has been no news from her. According to Boure Anela, her sister-in-law, she was assassinated by the former soldiers because of her political affiliation because she was very involved in the Lavalas movement. All attempts to find her in the prisons and morgues have been in vain. Guitoya Fede was the mother of five (5) children, (Gary Jean, Télémaque Jean, Joseph Jean, Elimene Jean and Islame Jean).
2. Nejan Espérance was taken from his home on March 14, 2003 in the presence of his wife (Elimene Jean).
3. Bouton Exile was taken from his home by the former soldiers on March 14, 2003 in the presence of his wife, Jean Mesilia. Bouton was 70 years old.
4. Eritil Exilas was taken from his home on March 14, 2003 by former solders aged about 70 years in the presence of his wife, Jean Zelira, his daughter, Exilas Marelia and her son Emile Dinois.
5. Deli Oscar, aged 59, was taken from his home in the month of January 2004. He was riddled with bullets according to witnesses and his body was abandoned in the woods.
6. Jean Bouchette, age 58, was taken to the Prosecutors office of Belladere on April 30, 2002.
7. Pierre Cius Marcellin was taken away then shot by the former soldiers in April 2003. Reference: Saint Pierre Marcellin, his father.
8. Alcant Bernier was disappeared, no one knows if he is dead or not. Reference: Saint Hiliare Vernet, his cousin and Dieuseul Bernier his son.
9. Viergemene Joseph, age 47, disappeared since June 2003. Reference: Saint Hilaire Vernet, his father and Jilissaint Robert.
10 Brunette Jean was take at Croix-Des-Bouquets when she was on her way to the Central Plateau. Reference: Cameau Telson, her husband.

4. 2. Meeting at Lascahobas
4.3. Meeting with Press representatives.
5. Categories of victims:
5.1 Assassinated by bullets, machetes and other
5.2 Wounded and handicapped
5.3. Disappeared
5.4 Owners of burned homes
6. Most salient cases
6.1 The affair of the family of Cleonor Souverain
6.2 The affair of Peligre
6.3 The affair of the Justice of the Peace at Lascahobas
Lozamard Christophe
6.4 The ambush at Roi Sec (4 employees of MICT were assassinated)
7. The principle accused perpetrators, co-defendents, accomplices of these acts:
7.1 Guy Philippe
7.2 Louis Jodel CHAMBLAIN
7.3 a party of the opposition at that time

8. The current situation
8.1 Justice
8.2 Secutiry ( Police, MINUSTAH and the CNDDR)

9. Rule of Law
9.1 Constitution of March 29, 1987
9.2 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
9.3 Interamerican Convention of civil and political rights
9.4 Haitian Penal Code
9.5 Code of Criminal Law
9.6 Others

10.- Legal Papers for Proof

11.- Conclusions and Recommendations of AUMOHD.
See also:
http://www.hurah.revolt.org/

This work is in the public domain
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