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#4925: Batay Ouvriye and FL repression #2 (fwd)

From: Charles Arthur <charlesarthur@hotmail.com>

At the beginning of August, the Haiti Support Group received an email press 
release from Batay Ovuriye - the Haitian workers' organisation. Apologies 
for the delay - there follows a summary of this release. Those who would 
like the full press release in Creole only, please email us: 

Charles Arthur
for the Haiti Support Group

         BILTEN POU LAPRES No. 2 from Batay Ouvriye

For some time there has been a wave of repression and terror
developing in Haiti...The Lavalas regime has decided to come down hard on 
Batay Ouvriye...We must announce that Lavalas is using the same tactics that 
the Macoutes used, and in various zones they use the same agents, in 
particular, zenglendoes and former members of FRAPH.

During the month of June, Batay Ouvriye sent out a note about this issue. It 
covered a variety of repressive practices in the Central Plateau, in the 
Artibonite and  in the North-West. But we (now) want to draw everyone's 
attention to the fact that these were not isolated incidents. Not only are 
they taking place in numerous different places, but they continued through 
the month of July. In July, we can say that the situation worsened 
particularly in these same areas.

In the Plato Santral : The Lavalas offensive continued. Thursday, 6th July, 
in the morning, a commando composed of the Police commissar of Beladere, 
Pierre Tony Jacques, together with two other policemen, plus four other 
people from the Fanmi Lavalas Party - Israel Jean, second representative of 
the Kazèk of the Riyarib section (Beladere) together with Manè Eustache, 
Jean Robert Monbaya, and Sonèl arrived at the house of Wilner Fondechène, a 
representative of Batay Ouvriye. They didn't find him, so they turned the 
place upside-down. When they finished planting leaflets that no one had ever 
seen in the house, they said they had found them there. After this, they 
took four of Wilner's photos so that they could search for him everywhere in 
the commune...They put great pressure on his wife. They pistol-whipped 
Gousmann Pierre who was in the house. Everything happend without a warrant 
and without the presence of a Justice of the peace.

The same day, at eight-thirty in the evening, they returned.
There was the police commissar, and other policemen as well as people who 
work for the CNE, a state organisation building roads in the region. All of 
them carried heavy weapons. Four members of the Family Lavalas Party were 
there...with them was the 'elected' Deputy, Levy Joseph. The latter, with a 
megaphone, asked them to terrorise the people, to beat them so that they 
would shout "Aristide for 50 years". They beat and pistol-whipped four 
people in the house...three of
them were members of Batay Ouvriye. While they were doing all this, they 
spoke about how Batay Ouvriye had no right to make literacy
classes, that there is only one government...that repression would increase. 
When local people started to react, they went away. They used a vehicle from 
the Nativity Hospital in Beladere. After these incidents, death threats 
increased and more arms were distributed..... Tension increased in the area.

In St Michel de L'Attalaye: The case of the assassination of Wilnor Bonplan 
still preoccupies our members. We can't forget how Dilouis
Damas, Fanmi Lavalas party member, member of the Azek of the communla 
section of L'Attalaye killed Wilnor. Despite the start of a case at the 
court....impunity continues....the cartel which Damas heads
manouevres to block the work of justice. The elected Family Lavalas people 
are making death threats against two members of Batay Ouvriye,
Urbain Garcon and Pepe.

In the Anse Rouge area: People who call themselves leaders of Fanmi Lavalas 
in the area are carrying our repression and making death threats to stop 
Batay Ouvriye meetings...

In the area of Mole Saint Nicholas and Bombardopolis: We find the same 
situation. There are death threats against members of Batay Ouvriye. They 
have already burnt a house in order to stop meetings.

In Archaiye: People linked with Fanmi Lavalas have intensified their 
characterisation of Batay Ouvriye as an organisation that causes problems in 
certain areas....

These are aspects of a developing situation. After our first press release, 
people asked us if the acts of repression were carried out by Fanmi Lavalas 
members. We told them that we have their names and that we gave them to 
State officials - but they are also part of Fanmi Lavalas. The situation 
remains very fraught. Tension is high. Batay Ouvriye wants to make it clear 
that it will remain firm and not change its orientation....Everybody must be 
clear, it is a reactionary, anti-popular project that is developing, and is 
being lead by Fanmi Lavalas. We denounce it, and are continuing to alert 
national and international opinion...

29 July 2000
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