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#5168: Re: #5139: Amos Jeannot (fwd)


The stench of rotting corpses filled the air as the two men sat in a small 
office at the General Hospital morgue in downtown Port au Prince.  They were 
negotiating entry and the right to search for the body of Amos Jeannot. Amos 
had been kidnapped almost two weeks previous and his organization, Fonkoze, 
received an ultimatum to close their operations or he would be killed.

Fonkoze is a grassroots organization that serves as a bank for the poor and 
many peasant organizations throughout Haiti. Meager savings are combined 
with assistance and support from international religious and solidarity 
organizations to create economic strength for Haiti?s traditionally 
dispossessed majority.

Police had delivered several unidentified bodies to the morgue over the past 
several days. The only way to narrow the possible identities was through a 
description of the clothing last worn by Amos to be crosschecked with the 
clothing on the corpses.  A quick call by one of the men confirmed that Amos 
had been wearing a blue t-shirt with blue jeans and a brown leather belt.  
The two men braced themselves as the man behind the desk told them that a 
body had been brought in by the police wearing clothes matching that 
description and then asked if Amos was a tall man. Amos was tall and their 
hearts began to sink as they followed another man to a large locker emitting 
a smell that would sicken the heartiest of people. Visible in the large pile 
of corpses was the unidentified man in blue and when the attendant lifted 
his head, so the two men could see the face, it was clear they had found the 
body of Amos Jeannot.

Until an official autopsy is performed no one can know for certain what Amos 
suffered during the last days and hours of his life. Despite this, a closer 
examination of the body clearly shows that Amos Jeannot had been subjected 
to systematic torture.  Teeth were broken and missing as were his eyes in 
what appears to have been a vicious and prolonged beating to the head. The 
skin had been peeled off several areas of his body exposing heavily bruised 
flesh beneath.  There were several small round puncture wounds most notably 
on his left cheek and his right lower back. Both wrists were bruised and the 
skin starting from the forearm of his right arm had been peeled back to the 
base of his palm leaving no doubt that this is one of the most barbarous and 
frightening slayings in Haiti to come to light in years.

It is probably best not to dwell on what the last moments of agony and 
suffering were like for Amos Jeannot. There should be a clear and emphatic 
call for justice but it is also important to remember Amos by celebrating 
his commitment to his people and his work on behalf of the poor. Amos 
Jeannot now joins a long list of martyrs including Father Jan-Marie Vincent, 
Antoine Izmery, Guy Malary, Jean Dominique and countless others killed for 
their belief in a better future for Haiti and her people. May their deaths 
not be in vain as everyone extends prayers and support to his family, 
co-workers and the community that loved Amos Jeannot so dearly. His soul and 
memory live on in the spirit of the Haitian people as they continue to 
struggle for social and economic justice in Haiti.