|page updated 9-4-4|
Forward by Kevin Pina - Nov 5, 2003
It has been difficult to watch reality turned on its head in what I read about Haiti these days. It has been painful to watch this destructive campaign by powerful interests in Haiti and Washington as they try to transform a beautiful movement of the poor into a dark and ugly creature now shunned by even the so-called progressive intellectuals. But the real truth is that the whole story is not getting out to the world. It is being constantly filtered through the lenses of those who control the media and those who have but one common purpose and theme, that the movement of the poor in Haiti should be broken along with their President. A president who had the audacity to abolish his own military and include the poor as major players in Haitian political life for the first time in history.
The Washington-backed opposition has called for a return of the Haitian military. As one Haitian recently told me, "In their mad rush for power they have become so hateful they would have the same military that has been responsible for so much death and suffering in Haiti, return to power as long as it serves the purpose of destroying President Aristide's legacy. And what of the poor who suffered so much at the hands of the military? Can you not understand how frightened they must be that the same military who raped their mothers, sisters and daughters is being asked to return to power by the opposition in Haiti? Can we not understand how the brutal murder of 7000 of their own people at the hands of the same military, after the coup against Aristide in 1991, frightens them to their core making them increasingly angry and defiant? Is this really so difficult to understand as events unfold in Haiti today?"
So how do we tell the truth about what is going on in Haiti? I would like to tell you a story. One day I was sitting with a Haitian friend watching a soccer game in one of the poorer neighborhoods of Port au Prince. Since it was a game between street kids no one wore any uniforms and I couldn't tell who was on which team. I turned to my friend and asked him how could he tell whom to root for since I couldn't tell one team from another. His response has provided me with a lesson that has served me to this day. He responded: "It's quite simple and not unlike Haitian politics or world politics for that matter, the only way you know who is on your team is by which direction they are kicking the ball!" I ask you, on behalf of the poor men, women and children I know and love in Haiti, watch which way people are kicking the ball when they talk or write about Haiti. If they do not speak against the return of the military, if they do not include the voices of the poor in what they say and write, if they do not address the legitimate hopes and fears of the poor, the chances are they are not, whether intentionally or unwittingly, on the same team as the poor majority of Haitian people.
I offer these never before published photos as a testimony to the brutality of the Haitian military. I realize they may be disturbing but it is an undeniable reality that must be addressed. I ask that you join me in my prayers that these atrocities by the Haitian military shall never be repeated again.
Returns the Predators to Haiti
Friday, Sept 3 2004 - letter below
|Most captions on this page were written in 1991 - The General Hospital of Port Au Prince began to fill quickly as the military shot indiscriminately into poor neighborhoods where Aristide's support is greatest. I interviewd this 10 year-old boy who had been shot while taking a shower and lost his leg.
I also interviewed a 68 year year-old woman who was shot while she was sleeping in bed. She got up thinking she might have wet herself only to find that she was covered in blood.
Bush's Policy Returns the Predators to Haiti
As I write this, Haiti's former military is being allowed by the Bush administration and the United Nations to return to power. While the U.S. and U.N. have been quite effective in backing the current regime and its police in arresting and persecuting members of the Lavalas political party, they have done absolutely nothing to challenge the former military and their allies from seizing and controlling territory in Haiti. The summary executions, political murders, brutal repression and corruption in the areas they control are a mere foreshadowing of what daily life will look like in the country if they are allowed to resume their traditional role in Haitian society.
I offer this background piece I wrote November 5, 2003 and the accompanying photographic evidence of the barbarity of the predatory institution that was and will always be the Forces Armee de Haiti (FADH). The photos are a testimony to the countless victims of FADH following the coup of 1991. When this web page first appeared I was accused of being nostalgic and an alarmist by my detractors. The current reality in Haiti has proven otherwise.
More recently, word has surfaced of a massacre committed by the FADH in collusion with other paramilitaries in the town of Belledere in 2002. One of the names of the murderers stands out, Remicinthe Ravix, whose name has begun appearing in the press as a top commander coordinating FADH's strategy of resurgence. Remicinthe was in charge of their recent operation where they seized the towns of Ti Goave and Hinche driving out the local police and ushering in a campaign of terror. The Brazilian forces under the U.N. assembled a larger force and drove to the outskirts of Ti Goave only to mysteriously withdraw before entering the town and abandoning the population to these criminals. The murderous nature of Remicinthe and what the population is currently being subjected to can be clearly seen in the massacre he led at Belledere. The story with photos can be accessed at :
These developments are clearly a tragedy and a direct result of the Bush administration's policy in Haiti today. I urge you to circulate this information widely and help to sensitize others to the living nightmare Haiti has become for her citizens since the forced ouster of President Aristide on February 29, 2004. A reality in which terror and death have become synonymous with U.S. sponsored "democracy" and "nation building" in Haiti.