Women, Children Subjected
by the Haiti Information Project
May 12, 2004
At 12:30 a.m. on the morning of May 10, a Special Forces squad of approximately 20 U.S. Marines executed a military assault on the home of 69-year-old Annette Auguste, a.k.a. So Anne. Auguste's residence is part of a compound that includes four other apartments that were also invaded by the U.S. military forces. The troops forcefully covered the heads of eleven Haitians with black hoods and then forced them to the lay face down on the ground while binding their wrists with plastic manacles behind their backs. The victims of this terrifying U.S. military invasion included five-year-old Chamyr Samedi, 10-year-old Kerlande Philippe, 12-year-old Loubahida Auguste, 14-year-old Luckmar Auguste and seven adults.
Evidence gathered at the site included paraphernalia left behind, such as blasting caps, igniters for explosive devices that terrorized the occupants when the troops invaded the residence. There was not a single member of the Haitian National Police (PNH) force or the de facto Haitian government present, according to the arrestees, when the U.S. forces unilaterally attacked the residence. According to Haitian law, as is the norm in any democratic country, no arrest can be made without a proper warrant issued by judicial authorities. The Haitian Constitution requires that warrants only be executed between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The lack of any legality within the context of Haitian law and the fact this was executed unilaterally by U.S. military forces in Haiti raises serious questions of national sovereignty and the role of U.S. military forces in Haiti today.
1. Front Door - This is evidence of the explosives used to enter the Auguste's apartment complex..
|©2004 Haiti Information Project - Sister Anne, Pro-Aristide Lavalas leader Annette Auguste (Sò Anne) at her arrainment while many demonstrators protest nereby demanding her release - May 13 2004|
These types of accusations against Lavalas, and particularly against Annette Auguste, are not new. Ms. Auguste, a naturalized U.S. citizen, has been a frequent target for persecution due to her close ties with President Aristide. She is the leader of PROP (Pouvwa Rasembleman Organizacion Popile), a popular Lavalas organization. She is also a singer of Haitian folk songs and is open about her practice of voodoo, officially recognized as a national religion for the first time in Haitian history under the Aristide administration. Ms. Auguste's religious beliefs and practices have led to many unfounded, disparaging rumors and a campaign of demonization against her.
In the past, critics such as Yves A. Isidor, professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and Executive Editor of wehaitians.com, and Raymond Joseph of the Haiti Observateur, now the Chief Diplomatic Representative to America for Haiti, have accused Ms. Auguste of things as outrageous as human sacrifice. Isidor authored a January 2, 2001, article that charged Ms. Auguste was President Aristide's "voodoo medium" and that she bathed him in human blood to curse George W. Bush and ensure the election of Vice President Al Gore in 2000. No evidence or witnesses were cited as sources for this information.
This article was picked up and embellished by Raymond Joseph. Joseph added details regarding a ceremony where a newborn was sacrificed in a giant mortar with a heavy pestle. Joseph contends that those who question the veracity of this allegation need only find support in the statement, "But who would have thought that men infected with the AIDS virus in South Africa believe that they can be healed by having intercourse with a young virgin!" Joseph never actually states that Ms. Auguste was involved in the alleged sacrifice, but two paragraphs later, his reference to her as Aristide's "voodoo medium" implies her presence there. Joseph directly accuses Ms. Auguste of holding meetings at her home where criminal activities, the nature of which is never revealed, were planned.
Joseph recently demonstrated his "journalistic" attempts when he lambasted Representative Maxine Waters in a March 11, 2004, article in The New York Sun because Rep. Waters had made three trips to Haiti in seven weeks, with the third trip being first-class. Joseph asked, "Do American taxpayers have to pick up the tabs? Or is it the Haitian government robbing from the poor in the 'poorest country in the Western Hemisphere' to maintain Waters and company in luxurious style?" Joseph provided no support or explanation for these allegations. He simply sought to discredit Rep. Waters, never even offering the possible explanation that she paid for the tickets herself or upgraded with frequent flier miles. As a reward for his part in the destabilization campaign of lies and misinformation against Aristide and Lavalas, Ramond Joseph has been named the highest diplomatic representative of the Boca Raton regime to the United States. We are sure he, along with Otto Reich and Roger Noriega, have much in common when it comes to the current witch-hunt and political persecution against Haiti's undeniably largest political party representing the majority of the poor.
|©2004 Haiti Information Project - Pro-Aristide demonstrators risk reprisal demanding the release of Lavalas leader Annette Auguste
Sister Anne-at her arrainment. - Port au Prince - May 13 2004
Annette Auguste, a.k.a. Souer Anne (Sister Anne), is being robbed of her Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status in the United States due to this arrest by the U.S. Marines. It has been widely reported in the past that Ms. Auguste is a naturalized U.S. citizen; however, these are rumors designed to destroy her political career in Haiti. The Haitian Constitution requires that members of the government be only citizens of Haiti. In an attempt to destroy the political careers of leading Lavalas members, opposition organizations used media outlets such as Radio Caraïbe to report that they were actually United States citizens. The deception went so far as to include fake passport numbers. Ms. Auguste's husband confirms that she only has LPR status and is not a naturalized citizen.
Ms. Auguste is required to travel to the United States every six months to renew her LPR status. An operation in February delayed her ability to make the trip and her doctor provided her with documentation that would grant her an extra three months for recovery. However, her detention is keeping her in Haiti beyond the time she was granted for recovery, and as a result, she will lose her status in the U.S.
Ms. Auguste's older sister is a United States citizen and lives in the same compound as Souer Anne. The Marines stormed into the elder Auguste's residence at the same time they raided Souer Anne's home. She demanded that they leave and stated that she was a U.S. citizen. They told her to get out of their way and that they were looking for Annette Auguste. She clearly explained that Souer Anne lived next door, but they did not leave until after doing an extensive amount of damages to her home. She has demanded restitution from the U.S. Embassy.
Restitution and damages have also been demanded from the U.S. Embassy for Souer Anne. They have denied this request and will not release her from U.S. custody in the National Penitentiary. According to her husband, rumors are circulating that the U.S. is accusing Ms. Auguste of collaborating with Al Q'aeda and that they are planning on trying her in the United States. There is serious concern for her safety and Haiti's sovereignty.
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