Backed by United Nations
so-called peacekeepers, the U.S.-installed Haitian regime
continues its siege of poor
neighborhoods in the capital, Port au Prince, in an attempt
to crush ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s Lavalas
party. The following is the result of a clandestine interview
with a woman called Nancy, conducted last Sunday in the slum
of Bel Air.
Nancy is a member of the Cell of Reflection
of Family Lavalas. The interview took place under extremely
difficult and dangerous
conditions. Nancy’s remarks were then edited to safeguard
her and the journalist’s anonymity. stands
behind their credibility.
First you should realize that they have been trying to starve
the poor in Haiti since President Aristide was kidnapped on February
29th. Do you know how much rice and beans cost now in the market?
Families are starving while a few families that import goods are
getting rich off the pennies we have to spend on food. They have
killed us since then and driven us into hiding. Have you ever tried
to feed your family while you are running from the police and you
have no job? They have arrested our leaders or driven them into
exile. They have cornered us and taken our dignity away so that
now we realize we have no where left to go.
We see that the situation in the streets, our situation, we who
are part of the Cell of Reflection of Family Lavalas, we see that
in all the poor neighborhoods there is not a day that goes by that
the government does not squeeze us. The repression is much worse.
And now the de facto Prime Minister [Gerard Latortue] has said
he is going to sign a contract with the former military to kill
us one by one. In a secret meeting he had with the Minister of
justice, a friend inside heard Latortue estimate that it would
be necessary to kill 25,000 people in the capital, in the capital
alone to stop the calls for the return of President Aristide. September
30th was the beginning of this initiative where Latortue unleashed
his forces that are comprised of new units of SWAT, USP, CIMO and
the police where the killers of the former military had already
been integrated. It was they who began firing on unarmed demonstrators
while the Brazilians and the United Nations stood by to let them
This was only one part of their strategy that
day. On September 30th they had extra squads of former military
with these militarized forces of the police to enter Bel Air, Cite
Soleil, La Saline, Grand Ravine, Delmas 2, Martissant and many
other poor neighborhoods to kill a lot of people. On September
30th many people were killed, especially in Bel Air. The former
military had already set up operations in Bel Air and Cite Soleil
without our knowledge before the demonstration had started. We
did not know that they had quietly entered certain houses very
early in the morning and held the occupants at gunpoint waiting
for the right moment to strike. After the killing started they
broke into many more houses shooting and beating people who had
stayed at home. They also broke everything they could and stole
anything of value while we were running from the bullets of the
police. Later in the afternoon the police entered the poor neighborhoods
and arrested everyone they could get their hands on. This
is how the violence of September 30th began and it became a question
of defending our neighborhoods and our community from the violence
of Latortue’s police and the former military. What do we
have to lose by defending ourselves since they are determined to
kill us anyway?
In the days that followed we would not allow
them to enter our communities and continue the killing. They
tried several times
on their own and we would not let them enter. So they set up on
the outskirts of our neighborhoods and began to arrest everybody
in sight. Outside of Bel Air we have seen them force three year-olds
and four year-olds to the ground. There are many people here who
do not know where they have taken their family members after they
arrest them. All of this because Latortue and Bush were afraid
of the numbers of people they knew we would mobilize to demand
Aristide’s return on September 30th. There is no other explanation.
Since then, Latortue has made it clear we do not have the right
to live and we are no better than animals that deserve to be slaughtered.
We are not counted as human beings in Haitian society because we
are poor and uneducated even though we are the majority of the
population. With President Aristide this was not the case and for
this reason we are determined there will never be peace in Haiti
until he returns. Our brothers, our sisters, our fathers, our sons
and our cousins are all willing to die before we will accept this
misery caused by a government that was put into power by foreigners
and that does not accept us as human beings. We will never stop
and there can be no peace until President Aristide returns. They
can call us bandits and thieves all they want but they know the
truth and this is why they are in a process of exterminating us
Bush and the United Nations know the truth as well. They know
that without the Brazilians they could not have entered Bel Air.
They know that without the Jordanians they could never keep us
from the National Palace. Without the UN forces this phony government
would not last a week. That is why we call them occupation forces
and it is criminal for them to prop up this killing machine that
is trying to destroy us. It is an insult to see them occupying
the streets in front of our National Palace to keep in place a
government that was not chosen by the people. They should be ashamed
of themselves and wonder how they would feel if the same thing
were done to them in their country. We believe that if the people
in their countries knew the truth they would ask them to come home.
We pray we will not have to fight them but they are part of the
killing machine right now and it is a question of survival for
us. We have no choice but to defend ourselves and our communities
against their tanks and their guns.
It is clear they will kill many more of us in the weeks to come.
The streets of Bel Air and Cite Soleil will turn red from all the
blood Latortue intends to spill but we will no longer just stand
like zombies and let them kill us. We will continue to demand the
return of our elected president and we will defend ourselves against
them when they come to kill us. We are not animals, we are not
bandits and we did not start this killing. They did.
Take this to the American people and let them know we think that
what Bush is doing in Haiti is criminal. He had a choice of supporting
our democracy and our votes but he chose to throw them away. He
sided with criminals and the rich against us instead of choosing
dialogue and reconciliation. We do not blame the American people
and it is a lie that we intend to harm them in Haiti. We love our
children and we love life as much as they do but we must defend
our right to exist in the face of these criminals who are determined
to exterminate us.