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6729: Slavin Responds to Archim on 091193 (fwd)

From: pslavin@unicefusa.org

Sadly, I was there for part of the service at Sacre Coeur on Sept 11 93, and 
its aftermath. I had interviewed Antoine Izmery before the service and some of 
the Holy Ghost and Skurt(sp) Fathers who lead the Mass; and my notes had it 
that the service was to honor the anniversary of the St. Jean Bosco massacre 
and to demonstrate the country's obvious lack of political freedom (made even 
clearer to the world by the assassination of Antoine). I did not know that 
after threats by attachés that the Mass honored Georges Izmery -- that 
information is an important detail (especially as this crime had many, many 
witnesses, all the details that can go on the record...should). I know others 
on the list were there that day -- can they confirm? I don't need confirmation 
about the threats, I heard them.

Just a personal comment on Georges. I learned of his murder when I was coming 
back on a fishing boat from Grande Cayemite Island (to do a story on hundreds 
of Haitians who had gathered there to buy seats on refugee boats). I remember 
finally being able to tune into the PauP radio stations, as we passed Leogane. 
And the news came about Georges -- I had been in the country for about two 
years and he was the first person I knew well who died in act of political 
violence. I'm sure that many foreigners on the list understand this tragic rite 
of passage -- when the political violence goes from something you learn about, 
even hear and see ?? to touching your heart. You know that your connection to 
Haiti undergoes a transformation -- from one of great interest in the country 
to Haiti becoming deeply personal. Georges was a gentle, caring, good humored 
human being. He deserved a long life.

If anyone wants to know the identity of the priest that gave last rights to 
Antoine (in that incredibly poignant picture that Archim writes of), pls write 
to me off list.